Significant Increase in College-bound Hispanics Projected For The South

The current number of Hispanic high school graduates in the 16 states that constitute the Southern Regional Education Board is projected to more than double by 2022, outpacing national projections, according to a new report released by Denver-based Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

The report, Knocking at the College Door: Projections of High School Graduates by State and Race/Ethnicity 1992-2022, shows that many SREB states will see far greater proportions of Hispanic high school graduates and prospective students in colleges and career preparation schools in the coming years.

“This report shows the demographic challenges the region will face now and in the years to come,” said SREB President Dave Spence. “States need to focus more attention on helping all students achieve at high levels, graduate from high school and continue their learning in college and career preparation.”

SREB States

 Number of Hispanic Students Enrolled in Public Schools in 2008

Projections for Hispanics enrolled in Public Schools in 2022

Alabama

658

5,540

Arizona

1,506

8,786

Delaware

430

1,763

Florida

34,949

71,448

Georgia

3,942

24,566

Kentucky

785

6,953

Louisiana

534

935

Maryland

3,579

13,179

Mississippi

240

1,807

North Carolina

4,483

28,340

Oklahoma

2,457

7,710

South Carolina

1,019

9,204

Tennessee

1,356

13,407

Texas

99,741

164,269

Virginia

4,525

17,547

West Virginia

140

707

United States

465,480

780,268

The report projects that the number of Hispanic students enrolled in public primary and secondary schools will continue to rise in the 16 SREB states, from 2.2 million in 2001 to 3.8 million in 2011.

According to the report, three SREB states will see “explosive growth” of greater than 20 percent in the overall number of high school graduates through 2022: Florida, Georgia and Texas. Two SREB states will see “rapid expansion” in the number of high school graduates: Arkansas and North Carolina.

High school enrollment of Hispanic students in the SREB area will more than triple, from 596,000 during the 2001 school year to more than 1.7 million by 2019. In most SREB states, the number of White students and Black students will drop substantially.

Many SREB states have seen major increases in the college enrollment of students in all racial/ethnic minority groups, especially Black and Hispanic students. States need to help more students from these traditionally undereducated groups finish college to continue the region’s progress in raising education levels, SREB officials say.

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