News Release

NCLR Releases Report on Challenges and Opportunities for Latino Students in Postsecondary Education

Capitol Hill briefing featured Congressman Hinojosa and education experts

April 28, 2016

Camila Gallardo

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today on Capitol Hill, NCLR (National Council of La Raza), along with Texas Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, unveiled an NCLR report during an afternoon briefing focused on Latinos in higher education. “Getting In, Staying In: Community Perspectives on the Barriers to Latino Postsecondary Education” highlights the opportunities and challenges for Latino students in higher education including access, preparation, affordability and institutional supports—all of which impact the ability for Latino students to experience long-term educational success. According to Pew Research Center, in 2012, the Hispanic college enrollment rate among 18–24-year-old high school graduates (49 percent) surpassed that of White students (47 percent). While more Latinos than ever are enrolling in college, disparities persist, including in the rate of degree completion.

The report details the broader barriers students face as well as those that uniquely affect Latino students, such as a lack of culturally appropriate information and guidance. Cost also presented itself as a significant barrier to postsecondary education—specifically, a lack of knowledge of how to manage the financial aid and student loan process, as well the thought of looming student loan debt. By the year 2020, estimates show that 65 percent of employers will require some kind of postsecondary education, and Latino students, a rapidly expanding demographic, will constitute a significant part of that future labor force.

“As the job market becomes increasingly competitive and employers more often begin to require postsecondary education among potential candidates, it becomes even more critical that we move rapidly to address some of the barriers that continue to prevent more Latino students from realizing their dreams of higher education,” said Eric Rodriguez, Vice President, Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation, NCLR.

Among the report’s recommendations are:

  • Increasing academic supports within learning institutions 
  • Improving access to college- and career-ready standards and advanced courses
  • Increasing engagement by the broader Latino community as a safety net for students

“I hope that we can use the recommendations in this report to drive change and promote policy. We should also encourage the community to get involved and participate to accelerate the process. Together, we can make sure that every Latino student in America gets in, stays in, and graduates,” said Giovani Escobedo, a student and former participant in the NCLR Líderes program who spoke at today’s briefing.

NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.