In the News: Hispanic Dropout Rate Hits New Low, College Enrollment at New High

John Gramlich of the Pew Research Center  reports on new data from the Census Bureau that show that “the high school dropout rate among U.S. Hispanics has fallen to a new low, extending a decades-long decline,” and that “the reduction has come alongside a long-term increase in Hispanic college enrollment, which is at a record high.”

However, Gramlich also notes that Hispanics are less likely than other groups to obtain a four-year college degree.

An article in the Summer 2017 issue of Education Next looks at one strategy for boosting college completion rates among Hispanic students: helping the students broaden the set of colleges to which they apply and enroll.

In that article, Oded Gurantz, Michael Hurwitz and Jonathan Smith write

We examine an intervention designed to expand Hispanic students’ college exposure: the National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP), a College Board initiative that identifies top-performing Hispanic students based on their 11th-grade Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) scores…

We find evidence that the program induces students to apply to and attend more elite institutions, shifting students from two-year to four-year institutions as well as to out-of-state and public flagship colleges, all areas where Hispanic attendance has lagged…

Together, these findings demonstrate that college outreach can have substantial impacts on the enrollment choices of Hispanic students and can serve as a lever for institutions looking to draw underrepresented, academically talented students.

— Education Next

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