Vista Latina: College Enrollment For Latino Males Falls Behind Counterparts

Monday, April 1, 2013

A former Calexico High school football and track athlete, Juan Manuel Elias admits he wasn’t much of a motivated student. The 19-year-old said he tried his best to maintain a 2.0 grade-point average simply so he could play sports.

Upon graduating in 2011, he had his heart set on joining the U.S. Marine Corps. In fact he still does, although a slight detour now has him taking courses at Imperial Valley College and at the University of Phoenix campus in El Centro.

“I think it’s cool,” Elias said. “The teachers are great, they help you.”

While the decision to enroll in college pleased his mother, and likely ensures he can enlist as an officer in the Corps, it also adds to the number of males seeking postsecondary education, which lags behind their female counterparts.

Across the nation, women make up the majorities at colleges and universities, earning 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in 2009–2010, which mirrors their percentage in 1999–2000.

And while the gender gap has stabilized for the most part in recent years, it continues to widen among Hispanics. In 2007–2008, the percentage of male Latinos aged 24 or younger enrolled in higher education fell to 42 percent from 45 percent in 1999–2000, according to a 2010 report by the American Council on Education.

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