Helping Latino Students Stay in College at Texas State University

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Transitioning from high school to college can be tough for Latino students, according to recent research by Excelencia in Education, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that advocates for higher education success for Latinos.

The report shows that about 17 percent of Latino adults in Texas have an associate degree or higher, compared to 34 percent of all adult Texans.

Experts and advocates provide a litany of reasons why Latinos lag behind in college graduation rates including language barriers, a lack of role models who have gone to college and a lower socio-economic status.

Deborah Santiago, co-founder and vice president of policy for Excelencia in Education, told Hispanic Business magazine recently that she has seen progress and finds great hope.

“But we still have large gaps,” Santiago said.

A 2010 study by the American Enterprise Institute found that 51 percent of Hispanics who start college earn a bachelor’s degree within six years, compared to 59 percent of Anglo students.

In Texas, that number goes down to 40 percent of Hispanics who graduate within six years, compared to 45 percent of Anglo students.

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