Children From Immigrant Families Are Increasingly the Face of Higher Education - The New York Times
An overwhelming majority of immigrant-origin students are U.S. citizens or legal residents. But they are likely to face barriers and limits on resources that many other students do not.“Being a first-generation college student, it’s a lot of pressure,” said Crystal Tepale, a senior at New Jersey City University who hopes to become a lawyer.Credit...Bryan Anselm for The New York Times.“Going into the college process, these students themselves or their families may not have a lot of knowledge about navigating college applications and the financial aid process,” said Jeanne Batalova, a senior policy analyst at Migration Policy Institute and the lead author of the report.
Once immigrant-origin students are in school, their dropout rates tend to be higher because many come from poor households.
“They juggle multiple responsibilities, which makes it more challenging for them to stay in school and complete their degrees on time,” Ms. Batalova said. “If there is a health or family emergency, they lack a safety net to fall back on. That interferes with attending classes and completing assignments.” Immigrants and U.S.-born children of immigrants represented 85 percent of all Asian-American and Pacific Islander students, and 63 percent of Latino students in 2018. About a quarter of Black students were from immigrant families.
As their numbers swell, the students from immigrant families will only become more important to the long-term financial health of American colleges and universities. Even before the coronavirus pandemic threw the operation of colleges and universities into disarray, there was concern about future enrollment amid the country’s falling fertility rate and declining international student enrollment. The United States has faced intensified competition for international students from countries like Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.