Latina Representation in Higher Education is Growing Faster Than That of Latinos, Excelencia in Education Analysis Shows

March 15, 2023


New Analysis Outlines Growing Presence and Degree Attainment of Latina Students at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs)

Washington, D.C. (March 15, 2023) – New analysis shows that Latina students enrolled at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) earned over 300,000 degrees in 2020 — nearly 120,000 more than their Latino counterparts. Latina representation in higher education has accelerated more rapidly than that of Latinos, although both have significantly increased their degree attainment.

Published by Excelencia in Education, the nation’s premier authority on Latino student success in higher education, the analysis outlines Latinas’ growing presence and degree attainment at HSIs — a critical group of institutions enrolling and graduating Latinos in the U.S.

“Analyzing trends and practices of HSIs serving Latinas shines a light on a critical population and can inform efforts to advance Latinas’ enrollment and degree attainment,” said Deborah A. Santiago, Co-Founder and CEO of Excelencia in Education. “A similar review of trends and practices of Latinos at HSIs is forthcoming and will continue to add awareness and attention of our community.”

Key findings from the analysis include:

  • There is a clear opportunity to enroll and educate more Latinas. In 2021, 53% of Latina adults had earned a high school education or less, while 29% had earned an associate degree or higher.
  • Almost half of all women (48%) and nearly two-thirds of the total Latino population (60%) enrolled at HSIs are Latina.
  • Latina degree attainment at HSIs has increased by 52% over the last five years — a faster rate compared to Latinos, who have seen 44% growth.
  • Of degrees earned by Latinas at HSIs, the majority were at the undergraduate level — 39% of Latinas earned an associate’s and 33% earned a bachelor’s degree.

The analysis is the latest in a series of Excelencia publications focused on trends and practices among HSIs, including a February report spotlighting resilience strategies from Puerto Rican HSIs. On March 30, the organization will release its annual lists of HSIs and emerging HSIs as well as its exclusive list of HSIs with graduate programs. Excelencia has co-released lists of HSIs and emerging HSIs with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) since 2015 to ensure consistent awareness and opportunities to support HSIs.


About Excelencia in Education
Excelencia in Education accelerates Latino student success in higher education by promoting Latino student achievement, conducting analysis to inform educational policies, advancing institutional practices, and collaborating with those committed and ready to meet the mission. Launched in 2004 in the nation’s capital, Excelencia has established a network of results-oriented educators and policymakers to address the U.S. economy’s needs for a highly educated workforce and engaged civic leaders. For more information, visit: 



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