Title page for ETD etd-09152002-211404

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Garcia, Lisette Marie
Author's Email Address ligarcia@vt.edu
URN etd-09152002-211404
Title Variations in Educational Attainment Among DIfferent Latino Subgroups
Degree Master of Science
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Bayer, Alan E. Committee Chair
Hughes, Michael D. Committee Member
Michaels, James W. Committee Member
Plummer, Ellen Committee Member
  • Latino
  • Educational Attainment
  • Hispanic
Date of Defense 2002-09-12
Availability unrestricted
Variations in Educational Attainment Among Different Latino Subgroups

Lisette M. Garcia


Census information indicates that Latinos are the largest minority school-age population, yet they represent a very small percentage of the students earning post-secondary degrees. Some contend that institutional discrimination, intertwined with racial ideologies are preventing Hispanics from achieving higher levels of education. The purpose of this study was to determine whether Latinos are less likely to complete at least a bachelor's degree than their non-Latino peers, and to determine if there are variations in educational attainment among the different Latino subgroups. This study aims to discover if these propositions are true by analyzing the High School and Beyond data set available through the Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research.

Findings show that the aggregate, Hispanics, are indeed less likely to complete at least a bachelor's degree in comparison to their White and Asian peers. However, the differences between Hispanics and Blacks or Native American is not significant. Additionally, in terms of the subgroup analysis, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans are less likely to go to college then their Cuban peers. Finally, Cubans do not differ significantly from their Asian or White peers. These preliminary findings begin to illustrate the dangers in using a pan-ethnic label.

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