ABSTRACT

This chapter provides information about the demographics of the Hispanic population in the United States, with a particular focus on the college student population. It discusses the issues of acculturation and ethnic identity as they pertain to the Hispanic population. The chapter also discusses how issues of ethnic identity and acculturation are associated with the academic motivation and achievement of Hispanic students, including a description of some of our recent work in this area. It explores an examination of what schools are doing or could be doing to reduce the tension that some Hispanic students experience as they coordinate their ethnic and academic identities. Research indicates that Latinos' decisions about college enrollment are strongly affected by three factors: cost, the need to work and make money, and a lack of adequate academic preparation for college. Latino students are more likely to leave college after they are enrolled, further reducing their college graduation rates.