Early Predictors of Early Freshman Year Attrition in Female Hispanic Students Page: 1
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The Hispanic population is the largest and fastest growing minority group in the United
States and this rapid growth trend is expected to continue. The U.S. Census Bureau (2008a,
2008b, 2008c) estimated that the projected U.S. Hispanic population in 2010 would be 49.7
million, a number expected to triple to 132.8 million by 2050. Similar to this national trend, the
increase in the Texas Hispanic population is also projected to grow to 18.8 million, almost
tripling its population within the state in only 30 years (Texas State Data Center, 2008). In the
past 30 years, the proportion of Whites in Texas has decreased from 56% to 43%, while the
proportion of Hispanics has increased from 28% to 40% (Frost, 2007). These trends demonstrate
that the Hispanic population in Texas is growing and growing quickly.
The rapidly increasing Hispanic population in Texas is a concern for higher education,
according to Venezia, Kirst, and Antonio (2003) because "student groups who have been
traditionally under-represented in higher education will grow faster than traditionally well-
represented student groups" (p. 20). Hispanics are struggling with successfully entering,
persisting, and graduating from institutions of higher education, more than any other ethnic
group in the American educational system (Bohon, Johnson, & Gorman, 2006). The fact that
many Hispanic students are the first in their families to attend college, are learning English as a
second language, and/or are not as academically prepared as other ethnic groups intensifies this
situation (Sy & Romero, 2008). Improving the Hispanic population's success rate in college
enrollment and graduation benefits not only this particular portion of society, but also creates a
better educated population that can make strong, positive contributions to the economy. If
measures are not taken immediately to address the low participation of Hispanics in Texas higher
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Speed, Heather Faye. Early Predictors of Early Freshman Year Attrition in Female Hispanic Students, dissertation, August 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103396/m1/12/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .