• Staff report

EPCC Closing Equity Gaps For Latino Students & Ranks Nationally in Newest Excelencia Research

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 12, 2020) –For the United States to close equity gaps in educational attainment, Latinos must earn 6.2 million degrees by 2030, according to new analysis by Excelencia in Education. The organization’s analysis highlights the top enrolling and graduating institutions nationally and by state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and reveals that prior to the pandemic, Latino student enrollment and degree completion was increasing. The study shows that EPCC is making positive progress in closing this gap. According to recently released data by Excelencia in Education, EPCC ranks #1 for the number of associate degrees earned by Latino students and is #2 in enrollment of Latino students among all 2-year institutions nationwide and is in the Top 5 for both enrolling and graduating Latino students among all colleges and universities.

While all groups will have to increase college degree attainment to meet college completion goals, increasing Latino educational attainment is crucial because their educational attainment is lower than other groups and the Latino population is rapidly expanding. Since Latinos will continue to make up a greater percent of the U.S. population, increasing Latino college completion is critical for the U.S. to meet its future civic and workforce needs. “EPCC is committed to closing equity gaps in degree completion,” Dr. William Serrata, EPCC President said. “Being consistently ranked nationally for both enrolling and graduating Latino students demonstrates EPCC’s efforts result in powerful student outcomes which are positively transforming our region and nation.”

“Now is the time to intensify our commitment to serving students and addressing the longstanding inequities more publicly visible,” said Deborah Santiago, Excelencia in Education Co-founder and CEO. “The current crisis has put another spotlight on why we must increase the number of doctors, scientists, educators, civic leaders and other workforce professionals from the growing and young Latino population.”

Key findings in this analysis show:

Latino representation among students continues to grow in every state. In almost every state, the representation of Latinos enrolled in K-12 was higher than the representation of Latinos overall in a state. Nationally, one in four students in K-12 and one in five students enrolled in higher education, are Latino. However, outcomes in states and in institutions where they are located vary and create opportunities for more intentional action.

While Latinos’ degree attainment has grown, it is still significantly lower than White, non-Hispanics. Over the last ten years, Hispanic adults’ degree attainment has increased from 19% to 24%. However, the gap in educational attainment between Hispanic (24%) and white, non-Hispanic adults (46%) is significant—22%.

Nationally, the top institutions enrolling and awarding degrees to Latinos are concentrated geographically. While Latinos are in every state, the top three states with the largest Latino populations are California, Texas, and Florida. The top 5 institutions enrolling Latino students are in Florida and Texas. While California institutions are not in the top 5 institutions enrolling Latinos or awarding associate’s degrees, they are 3 of the top 5 institutions awarding bachelor’s degrees to Latinos.

Latinos in some states and locations are graduating at a higher rate than Latinos nationally. In 26 states and locations, Latinos at four-year institutions graduate at a higher rate than Latinos nationally (51%).

Equity gaps in graduation rates persist between Latino students and their White, non-Hispanic peers—Hispanics graduate at a rate 2%-points lower at two-year institutions, and 12%-points lower at four-year institutions.

The following are three lists with the top institutions enrolling and graduating Latinos in the U.S.

























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