Seeking to shore up Hispanic graduation rates, colleges learn it's all in the family

When Roberto Rodriguez arrived at the University of California campus here four years ago, he felt the emotional tug home so many other Hispanic first-generation college students talk about. His parents wanted him out of their battle-scarred south-central Los Angeles neighborhood and in college. But his mother also didn't want him to stray too far from their home.

Three years and some bumps later, with graduation within reach, Roberto's father suffered a
heart attack and was diagnosed with diabetes — the kind of family crisis capable of derailing any college career.But instead of becoming a dropout statistic, Rodriguez will graduate with honors this month from UC-Riverside, where graduation rate gaps that separate Hispanic students from their peers on a national level
simply do not exist. Studies show that more Hispanic students are enrolling in college, but a disproportionate number drop out with debt instead of degrees.

At the average college or university, 51 percent of Hispanic students earn a bachelor's degree in six years, compared to 59 percent of white students, according to a March study by
the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. READ FULL STORY

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