LatinaLista — One of the times that families really need to come together is when it’s time for children to go to college.
Going to college is a family affair.
Yet for many Latino families, college is still unchartered territory. Statistics show that when it comes to Bachelor’s degrees, only 13 percent of Latinos have a Bachelor’s degree versus 17 percent of African Americans and 30 percent of Anglos.
Though the number is low among Latinos, it doesn’t mean that Latinos don’t want their college degrees. Most of the time, it’s simply not knowing how to figure out the whole process.
More than three-quarters (77%) of Latinos ages 16 to 25 say their parents think going to college is the most important thing to do after high school. Moreover, six-in-ten (60%) Latinos who have gone to college rank their parents as being the most influential people in their decision to continue their schooling. However, studies have shown that over 65% Latino parents do not have the knowledge to guide their children as they seek to apply and enroll in college.
Throughout its existence, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s (HSF) staff has heard the stories of how Latino parents are held back from helping their children either due to language, not knowing how to help or both.
So to bridge the gap that exists between Latino parents and the college admission/financial aid process, the HSF has created a new bilingual college-help web site titled “Your Words Today.”
The site has information ranging from learning about the different types of colleges and how to choose one to how to write the college admission essay to the different sources of where to find financial aid.
There’s even a free bilingual DVD available to families that covers the same information as the web site with additional content like short telenovelas for the family to watch about the importance of getting a college education.
HSF aspires to send a message to Latino communities across the country that educating children for college is one of the most important ways to have a better future and to strengthen America. The fact that there are approximately 45.5 million Latinos living in the U.S. today, or approximately 15% of the U.S. population, means that Latinos constitute a vital demographic that can contribute positively to tomorrow’s workforce.