latino lingo

All things related to effective Hispanic marketing, Hispanic advertising and Hispanic public relations.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Hunt for Educated Latinos

Colleges and Universities from as far as North Carolina, Colorado, Illinois, Connecticut and Ohio are recruiting Hispanics in Texas as a way to "diversify" their campuses, according to a Houston Chronicle story. That fact was covered in a Hispanic Business story, that also mentions Ohio State University trying to up its Hispanic enrollment to 3 percent by 2010 ... up from 1.75 percent in 1999 ... by recruiting in Texas.

This begs the question ... are these schools doing enough to recruit Hispanics in their own states? In North Carolina, for example, Charlotte and Greensboro were among the cities with the highest reported population increases in the 2000 Census. So, what's the excusa North Carolina?

Hispanic Business also did a piece this week about an International Demographics, Inc. audit that showed there is an increasing number of college graduates. From 2002 to 2004 the Hispanic population increased 16 percent in 87 markets they audited while Hispanic graduates increased by 22 percent in those markets (4.4 million graduates, including more than 1.3 million with advanced degrees).

Lack of knowledge is part of it. Take for instance a Mason-Dixon survey commissioned by The Sallie Mae Fund found that 95 percent of Hispanics (and 80 percent of African Americans) in Florida not in college said they would have been more likely to attend if they had better information about how to pay for it. The fund is spending $1 million in Florida on educating students and parents about financial aid to help close this knowledge gap.

While it's a complicated subject, it seems universities and community colleges can improve their Hispanic applicants within their own state borders with some effective marketing communication. Looking to areas of traditionally high Hispanic populations to recruit seems like the easy way out to me.

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