What’s keeping Latino students from their graduation day?

Last week at Cerritos College in Norwalk, CA, we invited issue experts and advocates to the 2024 UnidosUS Education Summit to discuss key issues impacting Latino students in higher education.

These issues include completion rates, securing pathways toward economic mobility and dwindling Latino enrollment. Our Summit elevated solutions that ensure Latino students get to college, stay in college and go on to benefit from the hard work they put in. 

Compared to Latinos without a higher education, those with bachelor’s degrees are projected to earn nearly $1 million more over their lifetime. Despite the obvious benefits of college completion, Latino students in the U.S. are 13% less likely to finish college. With such a prominent decline, experts ask the question of what’s causing Latino students to falter: is it grades? Money? Support?

“Completion rates aren’t where they should be.” said UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía. But with proper support, Latino students could see completion rates as high as 90%. 

Programs designed to support Latino students throughout their college experience are needed to bridge the graduation gap. With these programs, students can expect to help in the form of: 

  • Celebrating differences 
  • Boosting confidence 
  • Fostering mental health support 
  • Encouraging open conversations 
  • Promoting healthy practices  
  • Building a healthy support system 

Policy solutions are also key. White House Senior Advisor Emmanuel Caudillo joined us at the roundtable and said, “The Biden-Harris Administration has championed efforts to improve graduation outcomes. Congress established a new Postsecondary Success Grant to support college completion.” 

At UnidosUS, we’re determined in our commitment to creating an equitable education experience for all. A robust college support system can be the decisive factor between a Latino student who graduates and one who struggles to stay enrolled. We are determined to continue these vital conversations at the 2024 UnidosUS Annual Conference in Las Vegas. We hope to see you there as we pave the way for a brighter future in education! 

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