Hispanic students are more likely than other undergraduates to be enrolled in a two-year college rather than a four-year university. In an op-ed in U.S. News, Paul E. Peterson writes about the results of a new study that looks at what happens when Hispanic parents are given information about the costs and benefits of attending a four-year university.
The study found that when Hispanic Americans are given accurate information, the share who would have their children pursue a 4-year degree is as high as the white percentage. When White Americans are given the same information about costs and benefits, it does not change their aspirations for a four-year degree for their children.
Why are Hispanic Americans responses to information significantly different from those of white Americans? We cannot identify the specific factors at work, but we suspect that language and other communication barriers to valuable information is greater within the Hispanic community. If so, then schools have a particular responsibility to make sure that young people are well informed when choosing among higher education options and alternatives. Hispanic students need to be encouraged and informed in more specific ways than just advising them to be “college or career ready.”
For more information about the study, please read “The 2017 EdNext Poll on School Reform,” released on August 15, 2017.
— Education Next