The Pew Research Center recently reported that the number of Hispanic students enrolled in college increased 24 percent in 2010. This shift has made Hispanic students the largest minority group in higher education, comprising 15 percent of all college students. In addition, enrollment from black and Asian students grew by 5 percent and 6 percent respectively, while the enrollment of white (non-Hispanic) students declined by just under 4 percent.
These are significant shifts in the demographics of higher education. These students bring more diversity to campuses, broadening the cultural atmosphere of colleges and universities. They also have their own unique expectations and challenges. Campuses need to adjust to the diverse needs of their incoming students in order to maintain a quality college experience.
Institutions also need to be ready to take advantage of the tremendous enrollment opportunities these changes can bring. In speaking with the Wall Street Journal, Noel-Levitz consultant Jim Hundrieser discussed the positive effect the increase in Hispanic enrollment can have for higher education. “For the fastest-growing population in the U.S. to realize that higher education is important to their goals is great news,” Dr. Hundrieser told the Journal. He also said that Hispanic enrollment would be key to the fiscal health of campuses in the south and west regions of the United States.