The Chronicle reports on the growing number of Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and whether these colleges are properly supporting the students they are meant to serve. In order to qualify as a Hispanic Serving Institution, 25% of full-time undergraduate students must be Hispanic. By that measure, 1 in 4 nonprofit colleges are predicted to meet the enrollment threshold to classify as an HSI within the next few years and access public funds. Estela Mara Bensimon, a professor of higher education at the University of Southern California and director of the Center for Urban Education, says colleges may not be doing what is necessary so that “Latinx students will feel like they have a stake in this institution and feel like they belong.”
A new survey from TheDream.US organization found that unauthorized immigrant students face greater obstacles after graduating. Higher Ed Dive reports that from the 1,000 unauthorized immigrant graduates surveyed, barriers impede their ability to find work and enroll in graduate programs. Over half of graduates desired attending graduate school, however, only 17% said they were eligible to do so, citing finances as a major hurdle. The ongoing coronavirus epidemic has negatively affected foreign-born workers more so than native-born workers in the United States. According to the research, occupational licensure had a significant impact on students’ potential salaries. Federal law prohibits granting licensure to unauthorized immigrants.
In an opinion piece for The Hechinger Report, Rona Sheramy, Ph.D., executive director of the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women (JFEW), argues that while the number of men may be decreasing from campus enrollments, it is important to remember that many college women continue to struggle. Sheramy writes that many low-income college women struggle with “the inability to pay for food, housing and other basic needs” as barriers to college completion and that “the pandemic has exacerbated the extraordinary challenges faced by student parents, 70% of whom are women.” “That so many women have persisted in college despite these challenges is a testament to their conviction that a degree is the best means of improving their lives and their families’ lives,” argues Sheramy.