Report Pushes for Focus on Latino College Completion Rates

October 3, 2011

The nation's education leaders must work to improve college completion rates for Latino students if it is to stay competitive on the world state, according to a report compiled by College Board. While Latinos make up the fastest growing group of students in the nation, they are behind the national average for college completion by nearly half. At present, 19.2 percent of Latinos complete college, while the national average hovers around 40 percent, according to the report. At a conference in Miami on Friday, College Board unveiled its report and action plan to improve educational attainment for Latinos.

Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board, said the report is a "call to action." “Our nation will not become number one again in college completion unless we commit ourselves to giving these students the support they need to achieve their full potential,” Caperton said.

The report is one step in ensuring College Board's goal of increasing completion of associate's degree or higher to 55 percent by 2025.

"There is work to be done to ensure every student, regardless of background, zip code or parents’ salary level, is equipped with the knowledge and skills to succeed in today’s global economy," said Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida and chairman of the Foundation of Excellence in Education.

To attain better completion rates for Latino students, the report recommends voluntary preschool education that is available to low-income students, improving middle and high school counseling and simplifying the financial aid system, among other things.

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