A new U.S. Census Bureau report shows that after several years of gains, college enrollments in the U.S. fell between 2011 and 2012. But for one group—Hispanics—college enrollments were up, reflecting Hispanic population growth along with a growing share of young Latinos prepared for college. The new Census Bureau data also shows Hispanic students reached other milestones in 2012, continuing recent upward trends in educational attainment and college attendance.
For the first time, a greater share of Hispanic recent high school graduates are enrolled in college than whites. College enrollment rates among 18- to 24-year old Hispanics who had completed high school continued their upward march in 2012. According to the Census Bureau, 49% of young Hispanic high school graduates were enrolled in college. By comparison, 47% of white non-Hispanic high school graduates were enrolled in college. These findings reflect those of a May Pew Research Center report that showed the share of Hispanic high school graduates enrolled in college immediately after high school surpassed whites in 2012.
While the share of recent Hispanic high school graduates enrolled in college has surpassed that of whites, the same is not true among all young people ages 18 to 24. Because Hispanics have a higher high school dropout rate than whites, the share of all Hispanics ages 18 to 24 in college lags than of whites – 37.5% among Hispanics compared with 42.1% among whites.