Report: Facing challenges, Hispanic students consider leaving school

Results of a recent study show Hispanic students confront difficulties on their postsecondary pathways

Hispanic students have recently faced challenges remaining in college more than students of any other race or ethnicity – this finding from a recent Lumina Foundation-Gallup State of Higher Education 2022 study.

Between 2019 and 2021, Hispanic college enrollment in the U.S. fell about 7% – a contrast to the previous 10 years from 2009 to 2019 when enrollment for this population climbed more than 45%.

When surveyed in late 2022, 52% of Hispanic students said that – in the past six months – they considered stopping taking classes for at least one term. The students cited reasons including stress, costs, and inflation. Additionally, 47% of those surveyed said they were also managing caregiving or parenting duties.

Of note, Hispanic students are the only major racial or ethnic group to see an enrollment increase between 2022 and 2023 – although less than 1%. Some of the increase in Hispanic student enrollment reflects scholarship opportunities available as the number of Hispanic-serving institutions grows.

Feelings of Discrimination

The Lumina Foundation-Gallup study also finds about 25% of Hispanic students currently enrolled in a post-high school education or training program feel discriminated against. The numbers are higher – at approximately 40% – for those in short term credential programs.

The study shows Hispanic students were more likely than students of any other race or ethnicity to occasionally have discriminatory experiences. But the report indicates about one in five Black post-high school students also reported occasionally experiencing discrimination.

Despite these negative experiences, Hispanic students were about as likely as Black and white students to note positive experiences at their learning institutions. Hispanic students were as likely to strongly agree that they have professors who care about them and feel their school is welcoming.

Get more details from the Lumina Foundation-Gallup State of Higher Education 2022 study.

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