- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 29, 2004

U.S. colleges will face an increase in Hispanic and Asian-Pacific Islander student enrollment in the next decade, requiring specific academic and career-planning support to help these minorities succeed, according to an educational report released yesterday.

Almost half of the high-school graduating class of 2014 will represent a racial or ethnic minority, with Hispanics the largest minority group, according to the Knocking at the College Door report, published by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, ACT and the College Board.

“The increase of the diversity in the high-school graduate population suggests that affirmative-action programs and programs aimed at increasing the diversity of students in higher education will become even more important than they are today,” said Howard Everson, vice president for academic initiatives at the College Board, during a press conference at the National Press Club.

While white, non-Hispanic public-school student enrollment will continue to decline from nearly 61 percent in 2001-2002 to an estimated 56 percent by 2007-2008, the Hispanic population of enrolled students is projected to increase from 17 percent to 21 percent, with nearly 9.2 million students enrolled in 2007-2008, the report said.

At the same time, the number of black, non-Hispanic students enrolled is projected to remain about 7.3 million a year, accounting for about 16 percent of the enrollment in the nation’s public elementary and secondary schools.

“We do project that the Hispanics will exceed the African-Americans,” especially in the West, while blacks might remain the dominant minority in the Midwest and the Northeast, said David Longanecker, executive director of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

Asian-Pacific Islander students also might represent the next largest increase in minority enrollment among public-school students, mostly enrolled in the Western and Northeastern parts of the country. Although they represented 3.6 percent of enrollments in 1993-1994, the report said they might reach 5 percent in 2007-2008, with 2.2 million students enrolled.

“The transition in the United States from a nation with a white, non-Hispanic majority to a nation of multiple minorities is evident in the composition of elementary and secondary school enrollments over the last several years and those projected over the next few years,” the report concluded.

By 2014, minorities are projected to become a majority in the high-school graduating class of 11 states and the District of Columbia, Mr. Longanecker said.

“Planning for higher-education enrollment and education programs in the future will have to take into account these regional distinctions and differences,” Mr. Everson said.

The Knocking at the College Door report is published every five years and uses data from the nation’s leading test-makers, the census and other sources. The predictions are mostly based on birth rate, interstate migration and immigration data.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide