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REPORT: Half of all hispanic students considered leaving college

  • / Updated:
  • Edwin Viera 

recent poll found more than half of Hispanic college students considered leaving in the last year.

A Lumina Foundation-Gallup poll showed one in four Hispanic students frequently or occasionally feel discriminated against in post-high school programs. In New York, 50% of Latino students left 2-year programs, with only a quarter of students graduating in 2021.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

Courtney Brown, vice president of strategic impact and planning for Lumina Foundation, said campuses need to address discrimination and harassment.

“They need to work on those policies,” Brown asserted. “They need to make sure they can educate all their faculty and staff on discrimination. They need to establish a process for publicly resolving discrimination issues, and make sure that they have an anti-retaliation program so that students feel safe in even reporting the harassment.”

While respondents report such feelings in all college programs, they were highest in industrial certification programs, which are often taught outside higher-ed classrooms. Brown argued it is up to industry to address the problems.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

Aside from feelings of discrimination, other factors are keeping Hispanic students from staying in school. Taking care of family members and money problems were forcing kids to drop out, too. Brown noted the barriers go beyond paying tuition.

“Just the cost of tuition isn’t the only financial barrier these students face,” Brown emphasized. “You know, they still have to pay rent, pay for food, and pay for child care. And, so that’s why having on campus child care is so important, having food banks, having emergency financial services.”

Though Hispanic students are experiencing these feelings, the National Center for Education Statistics finds enrollment grew between 2000 and 2020, but has declined in recent years, which some attribute to the COVID-19 pandemic.