Why Don’t Hispanics Graduate?

Hispanic students still aren’t doing a terribly good job completing college. According to a New York Times article by Jacques Steinberg:

The percentage of Hispanic students who graduate from college in six years or less continues to lag behind that of white students, according to a new study of graduation figures at more than 600 colleges.

In the study, the American Enterprise Institute… found that 51 percent of those identified as Hispanic earned bachelor’s degrees in six years or less, compared with 59 percent of white students.

This was apparently true no matter how selective the school the school. Only 83 percent of Hispanic students attending America’s most competitive colleges graduated in six years. Almost 90 percent of white students in similar institutions graduated in the same time frame.

It remains a little unclear why graduation rates are still lower, despite much effort in this area. There apparently remain many, many barriers to educational success for Hispanics.

The AEI study recommends, somewhat vaguely, that colleges implement “institution-wide commitment[s] to insuring that all their students graduate,” and that guidance counselors provide “information about schools that have a successful track record with Hispanic students.” AEI also has a more specific suggestion: disseminate federal financial aid based on a formula that has more to do with “how well schools serve their students, not simply how many students they enroll.”

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer