US: Hispanic gains push US college enrolment

A surge in Hispanic enrolment brought the number of US college students aged 18 to 24 to a record high last year even as the number of young whites at universities fell, writes John Lauerman for Bloomberg.

Hispanic students in that age range rose 24% from 2009 to 1.8 million, making them the largest minority group at US colleges, according to a study released last week by the Pew Hispanic Center, part of the Washington-based Pew Research Center. Total 18-to-24-year-old enrolment was 12.2 million, while the number of white students declined 4% to 7.7 million, the organisation reported.

The gain in Hispanic enrolment, outstripping the 7% increase in US Hispanic population during the period, may be linked to rising high school completion in the group, said Richard Fry, a senior research associate at the centre who led the study. A tighter job market following the recession that began in 2007 may also be prompting more students to pursue higher education, he said.
Full report on the Bloomberg site