- Half of Hispanic students enrolled in college reported that it was “difficult” or “very difficult” for them to stay in their program, according to a Wednesday review of recent Gallup and Lumina Foundation polling.
- That’s the highest share of any race or ethnicity tracked, the survey showed — 40% of both Asian and Black students also said it was difficult for them to stay enrolled, followed by 37% of White students.
- The survey found that a higher share of Hispanic students reported difficulty in 2022 compared to the year before, 50% versus 45%. The latest poll was conducted Oct. 26-Nov. 17 last year.
The survey also found that Hispanic students were the most likely racial or ethnic group to consider leaving college over a six-month period. More than half of Hispanic students, 52%, said they thought about stopping out for at least one term.
That’s compared to 43% of Black students, 36% of White students and 30% of Asian students. All groups tracked, with the exception of Asian students, were more likely to say they considered stopping out in 2022 versus 2021, a troubling trajectory for colleges hoping to boost their completion rates.
The survey also looks at factors pressuring students to leave college. Hispanic students, for instance, cited emotional stress, mental health, cost and difficult coursework — reasons commonly cited by other student groups as well.
However, 47% of Hispanic students said they were parents or caregivers, the highest share of any other racial or ethnic group.
“These added pressures may at least partly explain why more Hispanic students considered stopping out,” Julie Ray, writer and editor at Gallup, said in a blog post explaining the survey results.
Of Hispanic students who considered stopping out, 14% mentioned caring for an adult family member or a friend as a reason. That’s compared to 9% of both White and Black students. Similarly, 13% of Hispanic students cited child care responsibilities as the reason they thought about leaving college, compared to 8% of both White and Black students.
Hispanic students commonly cited several factors as helping them to stay enrolled. Those included financial aid, belief their program had value, enjoyment of their program, increased personal income, schedule flexibility and the desire to finish their program quickly.