Latinos and Education: Explaining the Attainment Gap

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The Pew Hispanic Center

Less than half of Hispanic youth are likely to pursue a college education, according to this new study. Forty-eight percent of the 2,012 Hispanic youth studied said they would continue their education, although 89 percent said they thought a college education was important for a successful future.

Family responsibilities and language barriers are the primary reasons given to explain the gap between those who think college is important and those who will actually pursue a college degree. Seventy-four percent of Hispanic youth who cut their education short said they did so to help financially support their families. Hispanics’ share of the U.S. population has increased from 5 percent in 1970 to 18 percent in 2007. Despite the increase, significant gaps remain in education in comparison to Caucasians and African-Americans. Free. 35 pages