Excelencia in Education Grant

Latino Students and Higher Education

One of our priorities is to improve college success rates for students of color. While completion rates for these students tend to be lower than those of white students, the issue is most acute for Latino students, who lag farthest behind.

Despite going to college at higher rates, Latino students are less likely to graduate with a postsecondary degree than those from any other ethnic background. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Hispanic undergraduate student enrollment increased by 13% between 2010 and 2013. But despite this increase in enrollment, Latino students are far less likely to graduate with a postsecondary degree than white students. NCES' 2017 Condition of Education report shows that only 27% of Hispanic 25- to 29-year-olds have attained an associate's or higher degree, compared to 54% of those who were white.

To address this achievement gap, Excelencia in Education works primarily with Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) because that is where most Latinos go to college. In fact, an overwhelming 80% of Latino undergraduates attend HSIs.

Excelencia in Education's  Plan to Boost Latino College Achievement

With this grant, Excelencia in Education is:

  • Working with eight HSIs in Florida and Texas from 2016 through 2018 to develop and implement plans to increase Latino student graduation rates.
  • Improving and increasing the reach of their evidence-based best practices, promoting their implementation in more colleges nationwide.
  • Encouraging more data tracking of Latino students' persistence and completion rates so Excelencia in Education can continue to learn how to best help Latino students.

In 2018, Excelencia in Education will release two briefs and a final report discussing its research findings and their institutional and policy implications with the goal of improving the success of Latino students nationwide.

Open Section Participating Colleges


Contact Senior Program Manager Sue Cui at or (608) 294‑8922.

October 19, 2017

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