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Interest in the College Grows Among Hispanic Population

Posted on 11 October 2012 | 12:06 pm

A growing number of Hispanic students are interested in the College of Charleston. In 2012, applicants for admission grew by 27% and there was a 20% increase in the number of Hispanic freshmen who enrolled this fall. Students of Hispanic descent represent 5% of the freshman class.

These record numbers are one of the reasons the College of Charleston will be participating in a free online college fair that is part of the nationwide ¡Edúcate, Es El Momento! (Educate Yourself, The Moment is Now) initiative. On Thursday, October 11, 2012 from noon until 10 p.m., students (and their families) interested in attending the College of Charleston will be able to live chat with Spanish-speaking admissions representatives and watch streaming video presentations at

The College of Charleston is one of 120 universities participating in this event being led by Univision Communications to promote educational attainment in Hispanic America. CollegeWeekLive is working with Univision on this virtual college fair. The online college fair addresses higher education topics of particular importance to Latino families – both students and their parents, who may not have experience with the college application process and could be apprehensive about sending their children away to college.

“It can be very daunting to go through the admissions process, especially when there is a difficulty in communicating,” says Susan Oakes, associate director of admissions. “It is important the lines of communication are open not just for the prospective student, but also for his/her family. Families are the biggest influencer in a student’s decision about applying and attending college and we want to make sure families receive all the information about our campus in the most familiar language possible.”

Nationally, Latinos have a 14 percent lower college graduation rate than non-Hispanic whites, and Latinos lag behind other racial groups by 25 percent when comparing the number of degrees attained. Latinos make up 16 percent of the overall population and 22 percent of the K-12 population, yet only 19 percent of Latinos in America have earned an associate degree or higher compared to 38 percent of all adults, according to a research study conducted by EdExcelencia cited in USA TODAY. Because Latinos make up one sixth of the total population, Latino educational attainment is at the heart of the future economic viability of the United States.

In February, the College of Charleston Office of Admissions offered a Spanish-speaking information session and tour, which was very successful. Plans are in the works to offer such tours at least once a year.

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