To earn diplomas, Hispanics gravitate to Sun Belt colleges

By 2035, Latinos could account for 1 of every 5 people living in the US, according to the Population Reference Bureau. While they bring a wealth of ethnic diversity to the culture, as a whole their level of educational attainment lags behind the national average. To close this gap, more students will need to aspire to earn college degrees. Universities already at the forefront of serving this population are concentrated in California and Texas, with Lehman College of the City University of New York the only non-Sun Belt school among the Top 50 (it's No. 43) in conferring undergraduate degrees on Hispanics. But the clear leader is Florida International University in Miami, whose student body is roughly 60 percent Hispanic. The universities that awarded the most bachelor's degrees to Hispanics (in 2007), with the number of graduates, according to Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education magazine:

  • 1. Florida International 3,169
  • 2. U. of Texas-Pan American2,148
  • 3. U. of Texas-El Paso 1,839
  • 4. U. of Texas-San Antonio1,786
  • 5. Calif. State-Fullerton 1,505
  • 6. San Diego State 1,399
  • 7. Calif. State-Long Beach 1,392
  • 8. Calif. State-Northridge 1,360
  • 9. Calif. State-Los Angeles 1,308
  • 10. U. of Texas-Austin 1,181
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