Hispanic Students, Majority Enroll In College But Not Many Graduate
GAINESVILLE - a growing number of Hispanic students are attending college. The Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration for 2013 began Sunday with this demographic milestone-- a new census report shows that after several years of gains, overall college enrollment in the U.S. fell. However that's not the case for one group-- Hispanics. The trouble is not that many are graduating.
Despite a decline in the number of students that enrolled in college in 2012 the number of Hispanic students in college spiked. However while more Latinos are entering college, a smaller percentage is actually earning a Bachelor's degree compared to other students-- according to the Pew Research Center.
For the first time a greater share of Hispanic high school graduates are enrolled in college than whites, that’s according to the U.S. Census Bureau...
University of Florida is a part of that trend, with a steady increase of Hispanic students over the past decade; enrollment is currently at 18 percent, in comparison to 12 percent in 2003.
Olivia Garcia the Director for UF's Institute for Hispanic-Latino Culture said, "I think it speaks to our demographic shift... I also think it speaks to the dynamic Hispanic Latino community; like we have some very young talented people and it's fantastic that they're wanting to further their education."
Despite this milestone, Latinos lag when it comes to actually earning a bachelor's degree, the Pew Research Center reports. A lot of the Hispanic students I talked to tell me minorities need a support group on campus, something like what they have here at UF with the Institute for Hispanic-Latino Culture, also known as "La Casita."
Genesis Lara a senior at UF said, "Not all schools with Latino students are ready to deal with the fact that a lot of those students are first generation college students... they filled out their FAFSA by themselves, they've never been away from home... You've never had a person go through these things before."
Liana Guerra a UF Junior said, many Hispanic students who have lived all their lives in Florida-- but are undocumented-- say it would be easier to finish if they received in-state tuition.
"Many students have come together to lead an initiative to try and pass in-state tuition for undocumented students. this is an important issue that many people have come together because many of these students have graduated from a Florida high school and have lived in Florida all their lives and only want to receive a college education," Guerra added.
UF organizations are hosting an event in support of in-state tuition for undocumented students on October 10th. State legislators from Miami and Orlando are expected to be there.
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