Hispanics Now Largest Minority Group on College Campuses

August 27, 2012

By Stephanie Rivera

In 2011, 2.1 million Hispanics enrolled in college, a 15 percent growth compared to the previous year.

According to a recent report by the Pew Hispanic Center, Hispanics are now, for the first time, the largest minority group among the nation’s four-year college and university students.

In October 2011, the number of all 18 to 24-year-olds enrolled in college was 12.6 million - up three percent from 2010.

Hispanics accounted for the majority of the increase.

In 2011, 2.1 million Hispanics enrolled in college, a 15 percent growth compared to the previous year.

In comparison, the college enrollment of White non-Hispanic students grew three percent, while the number of Blacks and Asians enrolled fell by three percent and eight percent respectively between 2010 and 2011.

The growth in the number of students enrolled at four-year college can be attributed to not only growth in the Hispanic population in the nation, but also to the rise in the number of young Hispanics eligible to attend college.

In 2011, 76 percent of Hispanics ages 18 to 24 had finished high school, the highest level of Hispanic high school completion ever attained and a three-percentage-point increase over the 2010 level, according to the Pew.

In Los Angeles County, Latinos had a graduation rate of 66.9 percent, compared to their Black counterparts having a 63.5 percent graduation rate, according to the Los Angeles Wave

76.3 percent of California students who started high school in 2007 graduated with their class. 

Of the 18 to 24-year-old high school completers, 46 percent of Hispanics were enrolled in college, in October 2011. In turn, 45 percent of Blacks, 51 percent of Whites and 67 percent of Asians, were enrolled in college.

With the increase of Hispanics attending college, the number of diplomas conferred has also increased. 

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics reported that 114,000 of Hispanics were awarded bachelor degrees, compared to 165,000 awarded to Blacks and 1.2 million awarded to Whites.

To read the Pew Hispanic Center's complete report, click here.