November 1, 2005

Recent Changes in the Entry of Hispanic and White Youth into College

V. Conclusions

Though Latino youths have made strides on to four-year college campuses, their white peers have made much bigger strides. In most large states a substantially larger proportion of beginning white full-time freshmen are starting their college education at four-year degree-granting institutions. Hispanics have not kept up and the gap in enrollment at four-year colleges and universities widened in several large states between 1996 and 2001.

At the same time, more Hispanic freshmen enrolled on two-year campuses in most states while white freshman two-year enrollment decreased in five of the seven states.

From 1996 to 2001, Hispanic freshman enrollment at four-year colleges and universities with selective admissions increased in the large states examined. White freshman enrollment at selective institutions also increased. Although Hispanic freshmen are behind whites in enrollment at selective four-year institutions, there is no compelling evidence from the enrollment data that the gap in selective enrollments widened between 1996 and 2001.