Jul 23, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

For many Latino students in the US, college isn't accessible. One author suggests that the community needs more support in getting students there. 

A new report shows that more Latino students than their white peers stay in college once they start, but only if they're prepared. 

AZCentral.com recently reported that large numbers of Latino students graduate high school unprepared for college and career--and lag behind their peers. According to the article, "Only 18 percent of Arizona Latino fourth-graders are proficient in reading, compared with 46 percent of white students. Only 20 percent of Latino eighth-graders are proficient in math, compared to 48 percent of white students."

Here's the silver lining: those who are prepared are more likely than their white peers to stay enrolled.

In Persistence Matters, a report by the Helios Foundation, the research shows that encouraging Latino students to persevere works. The report found that "Among Latino students who were college ready, 76 percent persisted, compared to 68 percent of their non-Latino white classmates."

To encourage college- and career-readiness, the author of the AZCentral article, Paul Luna, suggests high-quality learning environments for the community's youngest students, the creation of a college-going culture, increased parental involvement, the option to take challenging courses, the ability to work with teachers and counselors who can help, and an awareness of scholarship opportunities. 

Learn more about studying in the USA.

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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