By FERMIN LEAL
The number of Latinos enrolled in colleges and universities nationally grew by 24 percent in 2010 compared to the previous year, the largest increase of any ethnic group, according to a report released this week.
The report, published by the Pew Hispanic Center, shows that 1.8 million Latinos across the country ages 18-24 attended college last year, an increase of 349,000 from 2009. Latinos also surpassed blacks, with 1.7 million, as the largest minority in colleges, the report concluded. The enrollment of white students in colleges nationally dropped by 320,000 in that same time, the report found.
The center analyzed census data to create the report. Statewide and local data was not included.
Latinos are among the fastest growing demographic groups in general. Researchers attributed that trend, in part, to the soaring college-going rate of Latino students. But researchers also credited the increase in services and resources available to Latinos that helped boost the number of college-ready students.
“The Latino enrollment increase has been even more dramatic than the black enrollment increase because it has been spurred by a mixture of population growth and educational strides,” said Richard Fry, author of the report.