After years of lagging behind other Americans in education, Latinos have recently begun to significantly narrow that gap, according to a recent Pew Research Center report. In 2012 we passed a milestone, with new Hispanic high school students being more likely to go directly to college than their white counterparts. This is just one of many strides the Latino community has made in education, over the last decade.
Latinos have not only increased their college enrollment, they have also decreased the dropout rate among high school students. In 2000, the dropout rate was 28% among high school students; by 2012 it decreased to half that level at 14%. By several other measures, young Latinos have achieved parity with African-Americans in educational attainment.
That being said, Latinos still have many serious disparities. For example, while Latinos are more like to enroll in college than whites, we are less likely to attend four-year universities or go to school full time. And while we are half as likely to drop as in 2000, Hispanics still face the highest dropout rate in the country, among major demographics. It should also be noted that some have suggested that the increase in education has been due to the poor economic standings Latinos have faced since 2008. In other words, it may be easier for some to go to school longer, than it is for them to find a good job.
However, in the end, these gains are very positive for the Hispanic community in the US. “This is the maturation of a big second generation among Latinos — native born, and educated in American schools,” said Richard Fry, the lead author of the report.