Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

The State of Higher Education

Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

The State of Higher Education

Article excerpt

Every year, nearly half of all college Freshmen drop out. Some, homesick beyond reason, have to move to a college closer to home. Others transfer to smaller institutions hoping to retain their individuality. Some just can't cope. Unfortunately, however most dropouts never return to higher education.

Dropout realities

Some community colleges have been dubbed "revolving door" institutions because of their very high dropout rates. It's an embarrassment and very frustrating. Now, not everybody need attend college, and far too many who do are ill-prepared to survive the rigors of higher education.

Many Flispanic students are further burdened knowing that their presence in college denies their families much needed income and assistance, so many work part-time and some full-time to be able to send money home. The added obligation and stress frequently interferes with their studies. Yet, these valiant Hispanic students persevere, women more so than men.

America's record

Even with these shortcomings, this country provides more higher education opportunities than the vast majority of other nations. Many of which love to boast they have low tuition, but they fail to mention that only 8 to ten percent of high school graduates attend college. Most of the world has a caste system.

In Great Britain, preteenagers take rigorous examinations, which determine the schools they attend and their future careers. In Japan the parents of elementary school children scrimp and save, so their children can have tutors every day after classes and all day Saturday. They cram, cram and cram to do well on college entrance examinations. One's score determines which college you attend. No second chance - excel or be relegated to a second or third tier school and subsequent diminished existence. It's a harsh actuality.

American colleges can be cold, but far more opportunities exist there for a wider variety of students than do in other countries.

State of Education

The National Center for Education Statistics issues a bulky state of education report every year. It's has more information than anyone needs. It evaluates everything from preschool enrollments to college degrees granted.

Some highlights.

1. The United States continues to lead the world in access and attainment

The number of 25- to 29-year-olds with at least a bachelor's degree rose to 35 percent in 2014, up from 23 percent in 1990. It is above average compared with other developed countries.

In 2014, 34 percent of Americans age 25 to 34 had at least a bachelor's degree, compared with an average of 29.5 percent among all countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Disturbingly, the gap between Caucasian and Hispanic bachelor's-degree holders grew from 18 percentage points to 25.

2. Post college income

Recent graduates continue to suffer the effects of the recession. The median annual earnings of those with bachelor's or higher degrees between the ages of 25 and 34 were the lowest in 2014 in more than a decade. Median income for the group was $49,900 in 2014, below the pre-recession high of $54,020 (in 2014 dollars) in 2002.

The gender pay gap continues to exists among college graduates. Women ages 25 to 34 with a bachelor's degree or higher earned $46,800, about 15 percent less than their male counterparts at $54,800. …

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