Finally, some good news regarding Latinos and higher education. The Pew Hispanic Center has just released some very encouraging numbers for 2011 and they basically show that for the first time, more than 2 million Hispanics ages 18 to 24 were enrolled in college. This means that Latinos are now the largest minority group with a record 16.5 percent enrollment share in the country's four-year college campuses.
When it comes to two-year colleges, Latinos now account for one quarter (or 25.2 percent) of the 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled.
While I know there's still tons of works to be done in the higher education arena and the Latino population, I still believe this is reason to celebrate! So many factors, including their immigration status, can affect the whether a Hispanic student who graduates from high school continues on to a two- or four-year college, that I'm just happy the numbers continue to increase.
I imagine that now that Obama's deferred action plan has been finally launched, the numbers will only keep on growing. After all, tons of Hispanic students are willing and ready to go to college after high school, but so many of them have had to put their dreams on hold because of their immigration status.
Another remarkable finding to come out of the Pew Hispanic Center's analysis of Census data--and of particular interest to me--is that in 2011, a record 23.9 percent among all pre-K through 12th grade public school students were Latino. That's probably because for the first time ever, one-in-four public elementary school students were Hispanic.
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It's undeniable that these numbers will only continue to grow. I can only hope that with more and more Latinos in our public schools, the government will finally realize the importance of implementing more dual language immersion schools throughout the nation so all children can benefit from being bilingual.
*Originally published on August 21, 2012
Image via Parker Michael Knight/flickr