If colleges and universities want to close the graduation gap for their Latino students, their target goal is clear: help another 6.2 million Latinos earn a degree by 2030.

That’s according to the think tank Excelencia in Education, which focuses on research and policy on Latino achievement in higher education.

Its analysis on the 2021 college graduation rates of Latinos highlights some dismal statistics. Compared to their white, non-Hispanic counterparts, Latinos generally graduate from college at lower rates and drop out at higher rates. That’s even as the number of Hispanic students pursuing higher education has increased over the past 15 years.

Latino and white students enroll in higher education at roughly the same rates — 21 percent for Latinos and 23 percent for white students, according to the analysis.

The gaps become evident when looking at who graduates.

At four-year institutions, 52 percent of Latino students graduated while 65 percent of their white peers graduated — a 13-point difference.

Two-year institution graduation rates showed a five-point difference, with 33 percent of Latino students graduating compared to 38 percent of their white classmates.

Even among states with the highest K-12 Latino student populations — states that have the highest pools of potential Latino college students — Hispanic college graduation rates still lag behind their white counterparts.

There are a lot of reasons Latino students might not complete their degrees, says Emily Labandera, director of research at Excelencia in Education. Reverberations from the pandemic, for one, which led to lower college enrollment across the board.

Read the full article about Latino student graduation gap by Nadia Tamez-Robledo at EdSurge.