Goal: To Double the Rate of Hispanics Earning a Bachelor's Degree

Goal: To Double the Rate of Hispanics Earning a Bachelor's Degree

Goal: To Double the Rate of Hispanics Earning a Bachelor's Degree

Goal: To Double the Rate of Hispanics Earning a Bachelor's Degree

Synopsis

The level of education Hispanics achieve will largely determine whether their role is commensurate with their demographic importance and whether they partake in the full benefits of living in the U.S.

Excerpt

Meeting the educational needs of the fastest growing community in the nation—the Latino community—is vital to the future and in the best interest of this country. Toward this end, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) has worked for the past 25 years to provide a “financial vote of confidence” to Hispanic students who have overcome extraordinary social and academic barriers to enroll in the undergraduate and graduate institutions across the United States.

At its inception, HSF's founders committed to strengthen America by supporting Latino higher education. Our mission was to become this country's premier scholarship fund for Latino students. Since then, HSF has awarded more than 47,000 scholarships totaling in excess of $58 million to Latinos, from all 50 states and Puerto Rico, who have attended more than 1,300 colleges and universities.

As HSF's efforts have grown over the years, so have the needs of this country's Latino students. In response to this, HSF has continued to increase its capacity to serve Latino students and support their pursuit of higher education. HSF is now the largest Hispanic scholarship-granting organization in the nation.

In 1996, we recommitted to our founding vision but expanded our endeavors by adopting a new mission—to double the rate of Latinos earning a college degree from 9 percent to 18 percent by 2006. In moving forward with this compelling mission, we knew we had to answer two questions. One, what difference had HSF made in the college completion rates of its scholarship recipients? And, two, what would it take to double the rate of Latinos earning their college degrees?

To address the first question, in 1998, HSF commissioned Harder+ Company to evaluate its work. We are most proud that 97 percent of our scholarship recipients earned their bachelor's degrees. Of those not currently in school, 43 percent went on to graduate school. More than 88 percent of HSF Scholars earn more than the national per capita median income. And almost 60 percent earn at least double the Latino median income. Finally, almost two-thirds “give back” by doing volunteer work in their communities.

These scholars overcame significant obstacles. More than 40 percent of their fathers and 36 percent of their mothers did not have a high school diploma. In one generation, HSF's support enabled Latinos to go from non-diploma to college degree, breaking the cycle of under-education, inadequate employment, lower median income, and a lessened ability to support their children's higher education dreams.

In 1999, HSF received a landmark $50 million grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. This grant has funded the expansion of HSF's scholarship programs and given HSF the ability to start mobilizing the Latino community to support Latino students. It also gave . . .

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