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Report: College Graduation Rates Lag for Nevada Latinos

A new report shows the enrollment gap between Latinos and other student groups has almost closed in four-year colleges, but the news isn't so good for graduation rates. (renjishino/Wikimedia Commons)
A new report shows the enrollment gap between Latinos and other student groups has almost closed in four-year colleges, but the news isn't so good for graduation rates. (renjishino/Wikimedia Commons)
October 11, 2017

CARSON CITY, Nev. – Latinos in Nevada are making educational gains, but they still lag far behind other groups in high school and college graduation rates, according to a new report.

Researchers at Georgetown University found that 34 percent of Latinos don't graduate from high school, compared to 5 percent of white students.

And 67 percent of Latinos have a high school diploma or less, compared to 33 percent of whites.

Joe Garcia, president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, says the state's overall economy depends on whether it can succeed in improving the number of people with college degrees.

"In Nevada, they are working hard to increase attainment rates because you can't grow your economy the way you want to if the majority of your working-age population only has a high school degree or less,” he stresses.

“You're simply only going to be able to have low-wage jobs. You're not going to have high tech jobs. You're not going to have professional jobs."

The report found many more Latinos are getting into college. Their share of the student population has more than doubled at community colleges, and has almost doubled at four-year schools.

But the dropout rate is significant, with only 9 percent of Latinos in Nevada earning a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to 16 percent of African-American students and 29 percent of white students.

Anthony Carnevale, the report’s lead author and director of the Georgetown University Center for Education and the Workforce, says as Latinos get more college education, their earnings increase and the relative inequality between Latinos and whites goes down.

But he says Latinos still are not getting paid the same amount.

"They're not getting the same earnings for the same degrees as whites do,” he states. “That is irrespective of what major Latinos enroll in, what college they enroll in, whether they graduate. In the end they always make less than whites."

The report also found that Latinas with a bachelor's degree earn less than white women of any educational level.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NV