—-Frank D. Alvarez, HSF CEO.
In 2010, The Hispanic Scholarship Fund joined the Obama Administration, The Lumina Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, other nonprofits, and major corporations across the country in a national effort to significantly increase the number of college graduates over the next two decades.
To this end, HSF launched the Generation 1st Degree initiative to close the degree gap between Hispanic Americans and their peers. This means moving the degree attainment rate of Latinos from 19% to 60% by 2025.
This will translate into 14 million more Latino graduates, a $2.2 trillion increase in federal tax revenues and an equivalent earning power of $13 trillion for those graduates. It's an investment that will significantly improve the outlook for families and communities across the nation, and will help strengthen the U.S. economy for generations to come.
All of our efforts are paying off. In 2011, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, the number of 18- to 24-year-old Hispanic students attending college hit an all-time high of 12.2 million, a 24% surge in one year. And 70% of the 4,300 scholars we supported this year will be the first in their families—84% of which are low-income—to obtain a college degree. It’s a good beginning, but we have much more work ahead to meet that big goal.