Aug. 26: Latest numbers on students in higher education conceal larger issues
The number of 18- to 24-year-olds attending college reached an all-time high 12.2 million in October 2010, according to a recently released Pew Hispanic Center report evaluating census data.
The largest growth came from the Latino population, which grew by 349,000 students or 24 percent. During the same period, young black students grew by 88,000 and Asian Americans by 43,000. The white student population, however, decreased by 320,000.
UCLA IDEA Director John Rogers said there were many factors that can contribute to the increase in student population, including an acknowledgement among Latino families of the importance of a higher education.
UCLA IDEA Director John Rogers warned that the new numbers may not paint a completely rosy picture.
The economy has played an important role, Rogers said during an interview with La Opinión. As more people find themselves jobless, going back to school for more preparation or for career changes has become an alternative.
"And so, part of the increase in those numbers is due to the fact that people who were part of the labor market are now unemployed," he said.
Though experts laud the increase in students of higher education, they caution that the more important data are the numbers of students who graduate with degrees or transfer to four-year colleges and universities.
In that respect, Latino students lag behind their counterparts, the article mentioned.