Rise in Hispanics in college doesn’t mean more bachelor’s degrees

The college enrollment among Hispanics has more than tripled since 1996, according to a recent study conducted by Pew Research. The study counted both two…
Rise in Hispanics in college doesn’t mean more bachelor’s degrees

Brownie Sibrian graduates from Whittier College in Whittier, Calif. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

The college enrollment among Hispanics has more than tripled since 1996, according to a recent study conducted by Pew Research.

The study counted both two and four-year schools to calculate the college enrollment rate, and found that the enrollment rate among Hispanics ages 18-24 exceeded that of whites, with 49% and 47%, respectively.

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As of 2012, 19% of 18-24 enrolled college students were Hispanic, marking a significant increase since the initial study in 1996.

Percentage of hispanics enrolled in college and with a bachelor's degree.

(Pew Center)

However, the study also revealed that Hispanics are less likely to receive a bachelor’s degree than whites or Asians. Although the statistics show that 19% of college students were Hispanic, only 9% of these students actually received a bachelor’s degree.

This gap is likely due to the fact that Hispanic students tend to choose two-year programs over four-year programs, and therefore fewer Hispanic students receive a BA or BS.

Similar to Hispanic students, black students are also underrepresented among young adults attending a four-year university, accounting for just 9% of students who receive bachelor’s degrees.

Conversely, both whites and Asians account for the majority of young adults with bachelor’s degrees, with 69% and 11%, respectively.

The study reveals that more and more Hispanics are pursuing higher education, and according to the Wall Street Journal, this trend is likely to continue. This year, the University of California system has admitted more Hispanic students than white students for the first time in the history of the UC schools.

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At the nine undergraduate UC campuses, such as UCLA, UC Berkeley, and UC Davis, Hispanics account for 28.8% of students admitted for the Fall 2014 semester, while whites accounted for just 26.8%.

The study conducted by Pew Research and the new data from the University of California system indicate a shifting demographic among young college students—more Hispanics are earning degrees than ever before and universities are actively trying to enhance their campus’ diversity.