TOP 100 Colleges for Hispanics: A Rising Tide of Hispanic Students Raises All Degree Earner Numbers

By Cooper, Mary Ann | The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, May 7, 2012 | Go to article overview

TOP 100 Colleges for Hispanics: A Rising Tide of Hispanic Students Raises All Degree Earner Numbers


Cooper, Mary Ann, The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education


Once again, The Hispanic Outlook presents its annual lists of the Top 100 institutions for Hispanics based on degrees awarded. This information is made available by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

With all the talk about the emergence of community colleges as the haven for students looking to fast-track into a career in a troubled economy, as well as the prospect of cutbacks and tuition increases making a four-year school more difficult to attend, the assumption could have been made that the number of bachelor's degrees earned by Hispanics would start to decline. This is not the case.

Overall, schools on our Top 100 lists of institutions awarding the most degrees to Hispanics saw an increase in their student tallies in this category. Florida International University (FIU), the top-ranked school on the bachelor's list, for example, had an increase of Hispanics earning bachelor's degrees from a little more than 3,900 students to more than 4,100 students. Since the percentage of Hispanic bachelor's degree earners for FIU remained at 63 percent, the total number of bachelor's degree earners increased as well (from about 6,200 to more than 6,600).

A similar picture came into focus for the Top 100 lists for Hispanic master's degree and doctoral degree earners. Both lists overall saw an increase in the number of Hispanic and non-Hispanic degree holders. The idea that Hispanics bachelor's degree holders are increasing and graduate school numbers for this group are up as well is a positive sign for higher education.

Here are highlights from each grouping.

The latest figures reveal that FIU awarded the most bachelor's degrees to Hispanics - 4,156 in 2011. This represents 63 percent of its 6,637 degrees granted. In 2010, FIU awarded 3,918, also 63 percent. FIU leads the list of top schools for master's degrees as well - 1,100 degrees were conferred on Hispanics at FIU, representing 43 percent of all FIU master's degrees conferred. Last year, FIU awarded 1,014 degrees to Hispanics, also 43 percent.

For the fourth year in a row, Nova Southeastern University earned the top spot on the Top 100 list for doctoral degrees, with 279 degrees conferred on Hispanic students out of the 1,699 conferred there, representing 16 percent of Nova's Ph.D.s granted.

More Hispanic females than Hispanic males obtained master's degrees in 2011. In fact, Hispanic females outnumbered Hispanic males achieving master's degrees in more than 90 percent of the schools on our Top 100 list. Latinas were shown to earn more bachelor's degrees than Latinos too. Only one school on our Top 100 bachelor's degrees list had more Latino than Latina recipients.

At the doctoral degree level, the dominance of Latina degree recipients takes a big drop. There are more Latina doctoral degree recipients in 65 percent of schools on our list, with Latinas bested by or tying with Latinos in 35 percent of those top 100 schools.

While Latinas could bemoan the sharp drop from master's and bachelor's degree earning to doctoral degree earners, a little history should add an encouraging perspective to gender issues in high education. …

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