The act of going to college and earning a degree is more important than ever to today’s youth and our society. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn much more than high school graduates, and society as a whole also gains from an educated citizenry. Unfortunately, access to a postsecondary education is not equal in America. Students historically underrepresented at the postsecondary level–students of color, those from low-income backgrounds, and first-generation students–are still less likely to prepare for, apply for, enroll in, and persist through postsecondary education.

This study was conducted by the Educational Policy Institute through a grant from the Pew Hispanic Center to provide the most up-to-date analysis of Latino achievement through postsecondary education. The study analyses the latest installment of the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS), begun in 1988 with eighth grade students and followed up several times, with the last follow-up survey in 2000: eight years after scheduled high school graduation.

This report outlines the pathway to and through postsecondary education for Latinos and other students, and looks at a number of variables which offer insight into how motivated and prepared these students are for postsecondary work.