Poll: Hispanic students most likely to consider 'stopping out' of college
Friday, October 6, 2023
The latest poll of Hispanic community college students finds more than half have considered quitting school in the last year.
In the Lumina Foundation/Gallup poll, one in four Hispanic students said he or she often experiences discrimination in post-high-school programs. In Florida, Hispanic students outperform their white, non-Hispanic counterparts by 10 percentage points in graduation rates at two-year institutions, but their graduation rate at four-year schools is eight percentage points lower than their white peers.
Gallup education researcher Zach Hrynowski noted that nationally, the gap in degree completion between Latino and white students has increased.
"Even among their peers, it's particularly high, so 43% of Black students have considered stopping out in the last six months, 36% of white students and 30% of Asian students," he said. "So, while this is a challenge for all students across the board, it does appear to be a unique challenge for Hispanic students."
In the poll, respondents reported feelings of wanting to leave in all college programs, but they were highest in industrial certification programs, which are often taught outside higher-ed classrooms.
The poll also revealed other factors that can lead to dropping out: Hispanic students are more likely to be responsible for taking care of family members, and others cited affordability.
Courtney Brown, vice president for strategic impact and planning at the Lumina Foundation, said campuses need to tune in to these sensitive issues, as well as addressing discrimination and harassment.
"They need to work on those policies," she said. "They need to make sure they can educate all their faculty and staff on discrimination. They need to establish a process for publicly resolving discrimination issues, and make sure that they have an anti-retaliation program, so that students feel safe in even reporting the harassment."
The National Center for Education Statistics found that college enrollment grew between 2000 and 2020 - but has declined in recent years, which some attribute to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.
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