Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Hispanics More Optimistic Than Most About Higher Ed Access, Affordability

Source: Flickr/ COD Newsroom (CC BY 2.0)

When asked in a recent poll whether education beyond high school is available and affordable to those who need it, Hispanic respondents were optimistic.

The results of a recent Gallup-Lumina Foundation poll reveal that while overall, Americans feel higher education is not affordable, the majority of Hispanics feel it is. And on the issue of access, Hispanics were also more confident than white and black survey-takers. 


According to an article accompanying the survey results, the average four-year college tuition bill has increased by more than 250 percent over the past 30 years. Another Gallup study with Purdue revealed that 35 percent of students who have graduated since 2000 reported having more than $25,000 in student loan debt.

On average, whites are 10 times more wealthy than Hispanics, “so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that (Hispanics) would have a more difficult time affording college,” a Fusion article points out.

So why the optimism among Hispanics in light of these facts? 

Hypothesizing to Latin Post, Gallup Education Executive Director Brandon Busteed said, “This is a population of folks who are very hungry for education and see it as a pathway to a better life.”

Because Hispanic adults are less likely to have a college degree than the white American population, Busteed said they are perhaps more optimistic about college in general, viewing it as a way to be better prepared for the workforce. 

According to information from the Institute for Higher Education Policy, Hispanic students are more likely to attend community colleges with lower tuition and to work their way through college rather than take out student loans.


Note: The phone survey of 1,533 adults was conducted between Nov. 3 and Dec. 18, 2014. Just over 8 percent of the participants were Hispanic.