Experts agree the Hispanic population in the United States is the fastest-growing group in the nation. Consider these projections and statistics:
–If current trends continue, Hispanic high school seniors are expected to increase by 14 percent in the next five years and White, non-Hispanic high school seniors are expected to decrease by 3 percent in the same time period (WICHE, Knocking at the Door1).
–Projections from the Pew Hispanic Center indicate the Hispanic population will triple in size and will account for most of the nation’s population growth from 2005 through 2050. Hispanics will make up 29 percent of the U.S. population in 2050 (compared with 14 percent in 2005) and 31 percent of the United States’ population aged 18-64 will be made up of Hispanic residents.2
–The United States Census Bureau reported its Hispanic population grew 50 percent from 22.4 million in 1990 to 35.3 million in 2000. After the 2010 census, a large increase was again reported, 43 percent, to 50.5 million.3
As one researcher put it, if the United States is to maintain its current education level, the government along with higher education institutions must take action to promote further education among the Hispanic population and attract this group.4
According to Ortiz and Valerio (2012), Hispanics are the fastest growing minority in regard to enrollment in grades K-12. From the year 2000 to 2005, Hispanic enrollment in these grades increased by 20 percent, while White enrollment decreased by 11 percent (Greenword, Higher Education Marketing to the Hispanic Student 5).
Given this well-documented surge in Hispanics, how well is your campus reaching out to these students?
6 research-based tips for connecting with Hispanic prospective students
In our recent Student Perceptions Report, we asked Hispanic high school students what they think about the communications they receive from colleges and universities and how they prefer to communicate with institutions. With this intelligence, institutions can assess and adjust their communications and recruitment plans to best serve their prospective students.
Below are some key findings from this 2015 report:
- Preferred communication channels: Although all ethnic groups prefer colleges and universities make first contact via email, Hispanic students prefer the telephone at a higher rate than other ethnic groups.
- Initiating contact: Hispanic students are much less likely to be willing to initiate contact with a college or university.
- Social media behaviors: Hispanic students are the least likely to use social media in their college search.
- Application completion: Hispanic students are less likely to submit the applications they start.
- Parental involvement: Hispanic students, who are often first generation students, are more likely to report their parents are “not involved at all” in their college search.
- Stealth shopping: Hispanic students are more likely to initiate first contact at the application stage during the college recruitment process, rather than inquiring beforehand.
Given this information, consider how you may be able to help Hispanic prospective students better assess their fit with your campus earlier and more effectively. Explore ways to honor their preferences; tailor your outreach, search, and inquiry and application follow-up; and involve parents throughout the process. Be sure to maintain a solid relationship with both students and their parents after they have submitted their application.
To learn more about how to connect with Hispanic students and their families, join us in April for the:
Symposium on the Recruitment and
Retention of Diverse Populations
April 11-12, 2016
Learn more and register
At this Symposium, we will share more extensive research on how to connect with Hispanic students, as well as other diverse populations including adult learners, online learners, and international students. In the meantime, if you would like assistance in connecting with Hispanic learners or other specific market segments, we have an experienced team of enrollment management and marketing consultants available. Contact us today at 800.876.1117 or email ContactUs@RuffaloNL.com.
1 Prescott, Brian T., & Bransberger, Peace (2012). Knocking at the College Door: Projections of High School Graduates (eighth edition). Boulder, CO: Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.
2 Passel, Jeffrey S., & Cohn, D’Vera (2008). U.S. Population Projections: 2005-2050. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.
3 Guzmán, Betsy (2001). The Hispanic Population: Census 2000. Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau.
4 Greenwood, Kimberly (2012). Higher education marketing to the hispanic student population (Honors theses). Paper 50. Retrieved from: http://scholars.unh.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1049&context=honors
5 Ortiz, Carlos J., Valerio, Melissa A., & Lopez, Kristina (2012). Trends in hispanic academic achievement. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education. SagePub. Retrieved from: http://jhh.sagepub.com/content/11/2/136.abstract
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