The University of Florida is a top-performing institution nationwide for graduation rates for Latino students, according to a new report from The Education Trust.
The report, released Thursday, shows UF ranks among the top-10 best schools and has the highest graduation rate for Latino students among the top 10 at 87.3 percent, compared with an 88.2 percent graduation rate for white students for a 0.8 percent graduation gap.
The graduation rate is a three-year weighted average for 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Overall, the report found, the past decade has seen tremendous growth in Latino student enrollment and completion, but only 53.6 percent of Latino students who start college as first-time, full-time freshmen earn a bachelor’s degree within six years — a rate that is nearly 10 percentage points below that of their white peers.
Five of the top 10 schools are in California. The sample of 613 institutions includes 344 public institutions and 269 nonprofit private institutions.
The University of South Florida also made the top-performers list. Its graduation rate for Latino students – 66.2 percent – was slightly higher than the rate for white students of 65.6 percent.
“Our findings make clear that colleges and universities have a lot of work to do if they want to fulfill their public purpose to serve as engines of social mobility for all students, including Latino students,” said Wil Del Pilar, vice president of higher education policy and practice at The Education Trust. “As members of Congress contemplate changes to the Higher Education Act, they need to take a close look at what successful colleges are doing and provide resources, support, and a system of accountability to help lower-performing colleges get dramatically better at serving low-income students and students of color.”
The Education Trust is a nonprofit advocacy organization that promotes high academic achievement for all students at all levels, pre-kindergarten through college. Its goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that consign far too many young people — especially those from low-income families or who are Black, Latino or American Indian — to lives on the margins of the American mainstream.