Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Latinos in California Choose Community College at High Rates

Latino high school graduates in California choose to enroll in community college at much higher rates than other groups — even those who graduate from the state’s top high schools.

About one out of three Latino graduates chooses community college, compared with about one out of four white, black and Asian students.

Additionally, about 46 percent of Latino graduates from the top 10 percent of California high schools enroll in community colleges — compared with 27 percent of whites, 23 percent of blacks, and 19 percent of Asians.

The article notes that discrepancies between groups could be attributed to factors such as low tuition costs, location, and program flexility.

“These findings display highly stratified patterns of college-going in California,” lead author Lindsey Malcom-Piqueux, a senior fellow with the Center for Urban Education at the University of Southern California, told Futurity. “They show that it’s not just preparation per se that’s driving students’ college decision making. There are a lot of other factors, from issues of cost and accessibility to state colleges limiting enrollment due to budget cuts.”

Why are talented Latino students considering community colleges even if they are qualified to attend more academically well regarded universities where outcomes are better?

It may be worth interviewing young people in your community about their own decisions. Are they impacted by family, finances or even bad counseling?

Related Links:

- “Latina and Latino High School Graduates are Disproportionately Enrolled in Community Colleges,” The Tomas Rivera Policy Institute, USC.
- “High Number of Latinos in California Choose Community College,” Futurity.