Pitching Higher Education to Latino Students

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on the uphill battle faced by Georgia’s public universities, which, for demographic reasons, have some serious outreach to do to Latino students:

[R]eaching these students can be daunting. Recruiters and students face several obstacles, financial and cultural, including language barriers, teens’ desires to support their families, a lack of knowledge about college and concerns over how to pay for it — especially if they are undocumented.

That means recruiters have to do more than just hang up posters in high school guidance offices. Instead, having learned the crucial role family plays, they go where students and their relatives are — churches, festivals, sporting events and other community gatherings.

This is vital not just for the state’s public university system, but for the state itself:

Leaders say the students’ success will be crucial not only for colleges, but for Georgia’s economic standing.

“We are talking about our future students, but we’re also talking about Georgia’s future work force,” said Lisa Rossbacher, president of Southern Polytechnic State University. “It is critical to everyone that these students receive a college education. We’ve all had to look at how to recruit and support these students and that conversation must include the whole family.”

Jesse Singal

Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.