Poll: Many Hispanic college students consider dropping out
Thursday, October 5, 2023
A majority of Hispanic community college students tell pollsters they've wanted to leave school.
The Lumina Foundation-Gallup poll finds 50% of Hispanic students have struggled to stay in school. And in Virginia, 42% of Latino students left two-year programs, while 32% graduated in 2021.
Emotional stress and personal mental health were the top reasons they cited for wanting to leave.
Courtney Brown, vice president of strategic impact and planning with the Lumina Foundation, said the stigma surrounding mental health can prevent students from seeking help.
"You know, it's not just providing those services, but it's doing it in a safe and a confidential way, so that all students feel welcome in accessing those services," said Brown. "Again, it's not just having the bodies there that can provide these services, it is doing it in a student-centered way."
A 2022 study finds Black, Asian and Hispanic students were all less likely to use these services. In part, it's because of disparities in accessing services, which the study finds haven't changed in a decade.
The poll also reveals that Hispanic students are more likely to be responsible for an adult family member or friend, or to have child-care responsibilities.
Brown said campus and state-level policies could help make caregiving fit into a person's education.
"Finding services that could help them to take care of an ailing parent, a family member or friend," said Brown, "whether that is on campus, whether it's a state policy or local policy that provides those services, is really essential to help these students continue on their journey toward their degree."
AARP finds unpaid family caregivers provide more than $14 billion in care. Virginia's General Assembly considered a bill in 2021 to implement a tax credit for family caregivers, but it didn't make it out of committee.
Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.
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