WASHINGTON, April 10, 2012 - To inform state-level action on Latino college completion, Excelencia in Education today released 50 separate research-based fact sheets detailing the current status of college completion among Latinos in each state.

"The United States cannot retain its international competitiveness unless we improve Latino college completion. While there are things we must do in  Washington to advance this cause, this is an issue thatrequires leadership at all levels - from school boards to statehouses across America. True to its unique ability to provide actionable data and to engage a multitude of stakeholders to accelerate Latino college completion, Excelencia in Education has given leaders in all 50 states information they can use to engage the talents of Latino students and make their states and our country stronger." said U.S. Rep. Charles Gonzalez, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

"We are committed to bringing together stakeholders across America and empowering them with the information they need to advance Latino student success in higher education -- from statistical data to empirical research, and from tactical analysis to promising academic practices," said Sarita Brown, president of Excelencia in Education. "These 50 state fact sheets will put all of that into the hands of state, institutional, and community leaders who need it."

Each fact sheet includes state-level data on the population, representation among K through 12 students, educational attainment of adults, multiple measures of equity gaps in degree attainment, and examples of promising practices across the country for improving Latino college completion. To access the factsheets, visit: http://www.edexcelencia.org/eaf/50states/

"We are working diligently to achieve President Obama's goal of making America the country with the highest proportion of college graduates by 2020," said Eduardo Ochoa, assistant secretary for postsecondary education, U.S. Department of Education. "This new analysis makes it clear, we must accelerate Latino college completion to achieve that goal."

"The state-level data on Latino college completion show that today's investment, or lack thereof, in Latino academic preparation and degree attainment can have a compounding effect on state populations, economies, and communities in the near future," said Deborah Santiago, Excelencia in Education's cofounder and vice president for policy and research. "State policymakers as well as institutional and community leaders have opportunities to improve their educational attainment, economic strength, and community engagement by investing now in the academic preparation and achievement of Latinos."

While the detailed data varies from state to state, several trends emerged from Excelencia's research:

Latinos are much younger than the national and state populations overall.

  • Nationally, the median age for Latinos was 27 compared to a median age of 40 for White, non-Hispanics in 2010. An age gap between Latinos and White-non-Hispanics is consistent within all states.
  • The states with the lowest median age for Latinos (22 years) are Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. Closely following these states with a median age for Latinos of 23 years are Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Montana, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

Latinos' are a larger share of the K-12 public school population than they are of national and state populations overall.

  • Nationally, Latino youth represented 22 percent of the K-12 public school population and 15 percent of the U.S. population overall in 2010.
  • Nine states have a K-12 public school population that was greater than 20 percent Latino in 2010 - New Mexico (60%), California, (50%) and Texas (50%), this includes Arizona (41%), Nevada (38%), Colorado (28%), Florida (26%), Illinois (21%), and New York (21%).

Latino adults have lower degree attainment levels than other groups.

  • Nationally, about 20 percent of Latino adults had a postsecondary degree compared to over 35 percent of all adults in the U.S. in 2010.
  • Nine states had more than 25 percent of Latino adults with postsecondary attainment in 2010 - Alaska (26%), Florida (31%), Hawaii (30%), Maine (36%), New Hampshire (33%), South Dakota (26%), Vermont (41%), Virginia (28%), and West Virginia (28%).

The graduation rates for Latinos are lower than that of White, non-Hispanics.

  • Nationally, the gap in degree attainment between Latino and White, non-Hispanic cohorts of first-time, full-time students was about 14 percent.
  • The widest gaps in graduation rates between Latinos and White, non-Hispanics was in Connecticut(19%), Delaware (15%), Illinois (15%), Iowa (18%), and Washington (16%).

The equity gap in undergraduate credentials per 100 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) students between Latinos and White, non-Hispanics is smaller than other completion metrics.

  • The gap in degree attainment between the Latino and White, non-Hispanic cohorts per 100 FTEs was about four percent nationally.
  • The states with the highest equity gaps in degree attainment between Latinos and White, non-Hispanics with this metric were Arkansas (15%) and Iowa (11%).

The equity gap in degree attainment between Latinos and White, non-Hispanics was highest for undergraduate credentials per 1,000 adults with no college degree.

  • The gap in degree attainment between the Latino and white cohorts per 1,000 adults with no college degree was about 25 percent.
  • There were 11 states with equity gaps between Latinos and White, non-Hispanics for this metric higher than the national gap-California (27 percent), Arizona (31 percent), Colorado (35 percent), Delaware (29 percent), Georgia (31 percent), Illinois (36 percent), Iowa (38 percent), Kansas (36 percent), Kentucky (30 percent), Utah (36 percent), and Wisconsin (34 percent).

"Earning a college degree is a critical step toward personal economic success, and the economic success of America is bound tightly to the economic success of our growing Latino population," said Anthony Carnevale, director of the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University. "The more leaders at the state level know about and understand Latino college completion in their respective states, the better equipped they will be to implement policies that move us forward."

"This new research makes it clear that states can't hope for a better future for all their citizens if they don't succeed in leveraging the talents of their Latino residents," said Dennis Jones, president of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. "By showing state leaders how they compare with other states and to national goals, the information presented will help them be more strategic in the decisions they must make to close the attainment gap."

Latino College Completion in 50 States is a project of Excelencia's national initiative, Ensuring America's Future by Increasing Latino College Completion, which brings together leaders from seven sectors to develop and provide specific tools and information to accelerate Latino degree attainment while serving all students. Begun in 2009, Ensuring America's Future is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Kresge Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

To download an executive summary along with individual fact sheets for each state, visit: http://www.edexcelencia.org/eaf/50states/

Excelencia in Education is a Washington, D.C.-based national non-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate Latino student success in higher education.


Release Date
Tue, 04/10/2012 - 1:00am
Washington, DC