Latino College Enrollment Exceeds 2 Million - What the Stats Really Mean

While students across the U.S. prepare for fall semester, a new study by the Pew Research Center confirms that Latinos are now the largest minority group enrolled in 4-year colleges. According to the center’s evaluation of the 2010 Census results, over 2 million Latinos (between the ages of 18-24) enrolled in higher education institutions in 2011.

Not only that, but 76 percent of Latinos finished high school last year, a 3 percent increase from 2010.

The groundbreaking statistics are due, in part, to our population growth in the U.S., which is currently at more than 50 million. As a result, the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics and the U.S. Department of Education released the 2011 report Winning the Future: Improving Education for the Latino Community, which highlights how educated Latinos will influence the labor market and stabilize the U.S. economy in the long run – cutting down federal costs on law enforcement and welfare, for example.

In the report, the Obama Administration’s zero-to-five plan (part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) includes a $5 billion plan to help fund federal programs for public school students. An estimated 12.4 million young Latinos will benefit from these funded programs, which may continue to fuel the upward trend in the future. 

What do you think the stats mean for our future?