UTA aims to accelerate Latino student success

Excelencia in Education and UTA share new analysis on Latinos in higher education

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2024 • Cristal Gonzalez : contact

Student at Celebrando el Exito 2023 ceremony

The University of Texas at Arlington has chosen to become a leadership partner with Excelencia in Education, the nation’s premier authority on efforts to accelerate Latino student success in higher education, to release timely new analysis on the evolving opportunities for Latino students—one of the fastest-growing populations in higher education—and the institutions serving them.

Latinos in Higher Education: 2024 Compilation of Fast Facts” represents a series of fact sheets containing an array of information on the profile of Latino students and their journeys to and through college. UTA is one of 24 colleges and universities across the country supporting the release of this compilation to inform action, mobilize intentionality and accelerate Latino student success.

“For 20 years, Excelencia has tracked and provided analysis on Latino students in higher education to inform action and catalyze institutional transformation,” said Deborah Santiago, co-founder and CEO of Excelencia and lead researcher on the analysis. “The trailblazing institutions supporting the analysis recognize the opportunity to leverage this information as they continue their efforts to intentionally serve the growing number of Latino students on their campuses.”

Excelencia’s analysis shows that Latinos are more likely to be the first in their family to attend college and to receive the federal Pell Grant than any other group, though they are less likely to take out student loans. Latinos also have the highest labor force participation but are more likely to be represented in occupations with lower salaries. Institutions enrolling Latinos are predominantly Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), representing 20% of colleges and universities yet educating 63% of all Latinos in the nation.

UTA President Jennifer Cowley belongs to Excelencia’s national network of Presidents for Latino Student Success (P4LSS), composed of over 190 postsecondary leaders from 27 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Together, colleges and universities in the network are transforming higher education. The P4LSS network represents only 6% of institutions yet enrolls 33% and graduates 35% of all Latino students.

“To successfully recruit, retain and graduate today’s students—who are increasingly Latino—it’s incumbent upon this University to know who they are, what their varying needs may be and how we can best support and serve them,” Cowley said. “The students of today represent the talent of tomorrow for our workforce and society. At UTA, we strive to ensure students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to access a top-tier education and the potential that comes with it.”

UTA is one of only 39 colleges and universities to have earned the Seal of Excelencia, a national certification for institutions that strive to go beyond enrollment to intentionally serve Latino students. In 2022, UTA was one of just six institutions nationwide to earn the award, which requires applicants to demonstrate alignment across the core areas of data, practice and leadership. Seal-certified institutions represent less than 1% of colleges and universities yet enroll 15% and graduate 17% of all Latino students.

Excelencia brings this analysis to the public with support from 24 college and university presidents and chancellors who have earned the Seal of Excelencia and serve as national leaders for Latino student success,” said Sarita Brown, co-founder and president of Excelencia. “We are honored to make common cause to assert that increasing the numbers of Latinos who earn college degrees is essential for ensuring America’s bright future.”

To learn more about “Latinos in Higher Education: 2024 Compilation of Fast Facts,” visit EdExcelencia.org/latinos-higher-ed-2024-fast-facts.


About Excelencia in Education

In 2024, Excelencia in Education marks 20 years of service to accelerate Latino student success in higher education by promoting Latino student achievement, conducting analysis to inform educational policies, advancing institutional practices and collaborating with those committed and ready to meet the mission. Launched in 2004 in the nation’s capital, Excelencia has established a network of results-oriented educators and policymakers to address the U.S. economy’s needs for a highly educated workforce and engaged civic leaders. For more information, visit EdExcelencia.org.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington, located in the heart of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metroplex, is a comprehensive teaching, research, and public service institution dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through scholarship and creative work. The University is committed to providing access and ensuring student success, and to a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship, and commercialization of discoveries by our community of scholars. With an enrollment of approximately 41,000 students, UTA is the second-largest institution in the UT System.