Graduate students throwing their caps.
Latinos will have to accelerate their current pace of degree attainment to close the equity gap. Photo: Pexels.

Latinos are earning more degrees every year

Excelencia in Education has the most up-to-date statistics on Latino education.


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Latino enrollment in higher education institutions was growing until 2020, and now those students are reaping the benefits of their efforts, as they complete postsecondary education. According to Excelencia in Education, this group accounted for the majority of degree completions overall, representing 85% of the increase in 2019-2020. 

This community became the second largest group of degree earners, representing 17%, only behind white earners, at 51%. 

Over one-third of these degrees, 34%, were bachelors degrees, while 28% were associates, 26% certificates and 11% were graduate degrees 

Liberal Arts and the Sciences represent 11% of Latino graduates' fields of study, followed by Business Administration and Management, at 6%, and Registered Nursing, at 4%.   

The top states that had the most Latino enrollment were California, at 28%, followed by 17% in Texas, and Florida, at 8%. 

A number that stands out is how many students earned their degrees from Hispanic Serving Institutions. In 2019-2020, there were 559 HSIs throughout the country and 55% of all degrees granted by these institutions were for Latinos. The majority of institutions in the top 25 awarding degrees to Latinos were HSIs. 

In order to bridge the equity gap in degrees earned projected by 2030, Latinos will need to complete 6.2 million degrees by the end of the decade. Although the numbers are promising, as Latinos keep earning more degrees every year, the study shows that this group will have to accelerate its pace to hit the goal.


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