US: Jump in college enrolment highest in 40 years

America's colleges are attracting record numbers of new students as more Hispanics finish high school and young adults opt to pursue a higher education rather than languish in a weak job market, writes Hope Yen for the Associated Press.

A study released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center highlights the growing diversity in higher education amid debate over the role of race in college admissions and controversy over Arizona's new ban on ethnic studies in public schools.

Newly released government figures show that freshman enrolment surged 6% in 2008 to a record 2.6 million, mostly due to rising minority enrolment. That is the highest increase since 1968 during the height of the Vietnam War, when young adults who attended college could avoid the military draft. Almost three-quarters of the freshman increases in 2008 were minorities, of which the largest share was Hispanics.
Full report on the Associated Press site