Supporting Success in Higher Education


Higher education remains the foundation of economic mobility, providing access to employment and wealth building opportunities for Latinos. For years Latino students have shown a strong desire to advance their education and current trends reflect that. Over the past decade, the Hispanic college enrollment rate among 18–24-year-old high school graduates increased 10%. By 2026, Latino students are projected to comprise 26 percent (4.1 million) of total undergraduate enrollment.

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Despite these gains, we find that while our higher education system is more accessible than ever, it is also more difficult to navigate for many Latino college students, particularly those who are first in their family to attend college and come from low-income backgrounds. Many are also contending with the highest cost of college in history. Decreasing state investment in higher education, rising cost of living, stagnant wages, and a shift to a predominantly debt-based financial system has placed extraordinary financial pressure and risk on college students and their families.

To make matters worse, COVID-19 has worsened existing systemic inequities leading to the first decline in Latino post-secondary enrollment in a decade.

Supporting Latino students’ success in higher education will not only take bold action but culturally relevant and targeted solutions that directly address the systemic and institutionalized barriers facing our students.

Learn more about UnidosUS's Higher Education Priorities