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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Latinos go to college — but few earn 4-year degrees

Latinos’ high school graduation rates have soared and they’re far more likely to enroll in two- and four-year colleges. However Latino college graduation rates have stalled, reports Catherine Gewertz in Education Week.

“Only two in 10 Latinos earn bachelor’s degrees, compared to nearly 1 in 3 blacks and 45 percent of whites,” according to a new report from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce,

Two-thirds of Latino students enroll in community colleges with low graduation rates, the study finds.

However, 60 percent of Latinos complete certificates, compared to a 47 percent completion rate for whites and 37 percent for blacks. As a result, Latinos have made progress in qualifying for “middle-skill” jobs that require some college but not a four-year degree.

While Latinos with high SAT/ACT test scores are as likely as whites to enroll in college, 63 percent of high-scoring Latinos complete a degree or other credential compared to 78 percent of whites with similar test scores.

Latinos have improved their rate of degree completion, but not as much as whites and African-Americans have. In the last 15 years, the proportion of Latinos with college degrees rose from 35 percent to 45 percent. But that 10-percentage-point gain is outpaced by the gains of black students (22 percentage points) and white students (16 points), according to the Georgetown study.

Six in 10 U.S.-born Latinos have some postsecondary education, compared to only one-third of Latino immigrants.

KIPP helps its graduates select colleges with good success rates for first-generation students, then links them to mentors, writes Richard Whitmire.

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