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Hispanics Earning College Degrees Critical to US Economic Growth



By Catherine Groux
Posted November 19, 2012 01:00 PM

More Hispanic students must earn a bachelor's degree to jumpstart the U.S. economy.
More Hispanic students must earn a bachelor's degree to jumpstart the U.S. economy.
Last year, the Pew Research Center reported that in October 2010, the number of 18- to 24-year-old Hispanic students attending college in the U.S. hit an all-time high of 12.2 million. While this is certainly a large accomplishment for the demographic, more Hispanic individuals must earn college degrees to stabilize the American economy.

Today, Hispanics are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. workforce, yet 80% of Latinos age 25 and older do not hold a bachelor's degree, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports. Without a college education, these individuals will not be able to fill high-paying, high-skill jobs or pay taxes to help fund Social Security. In this way, BusinessWeek states that the struggling educational attainment of the Hispanic population is "one of the biggest crises in the American labor force with far-reaching implications for the economy."

"You can't meet our national goals and our workforce needs without having a tactical plan for Latinos," Deborah Santiago, vice president of policy and research for Excelencia in Education, told BusinessWeek. "This is just a factual statement given what the current population numbers are."

In 2010, President Barack Obama showed his dedication to giving more Hispanics a clear pathway to college by renewing the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, which was created under former President George H.W. Bush, Education Week reports. Additionally, in June, the Obama Administration announced that it will no longer deport young illegal immigrants who grew up in the U.S., which could prove beneficial for illegal Hispanic students hoping to earn a college degree. 

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