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Low college degree attainment for Hispanic men in Colorado can impact their future, and the state’s economic prosperity

msu denver aerial.jpg
Tony Webster
CC BY 2.0
Metropolitan State University of Denver is one of Colorado's Hispanic Serving Institutions, meaning at least a quarter of student body is Hispanic. Of every five Hispanic men who started degree programs at MSU Denver in 2013, only one of them got a bachelor's degree.

Colorado has one of the most highly educated populations in the country, with a 61% post-high school attainment rate. State officials have set a goal for themselves to get that number up to 66%.

Though the majority of students who graduate from Colorado high schools attend college — about 56% — that number looks a lot different for one group in particular: Hispanic men. Fewer than half go to college, a rate that’s lower than that of Black men and women, white men and women, and Hispanic women.

And of the Hispanic men who attend one of Colorado’s public four-year universities, just 41% make it to the finish line. Only a quarter of Hispanic Coloradans have a college credential.

We spoke with Chalkbeat Colorado reporter Jason Gonzales, who put these data points together in a reporting series that explores the impacts these disparities can have on students and their families, and how addressing these gaps is essential for the state to reach its goals.

As host of KUNC's Colorado Edition, I work closely with our producers and reporters to bring context and diverse perspectives to the important issues of the day. And because life is best when it's a balance of work and play, I love finding stories that highlight culture, music, the outdoors, and anything that makes Colorado such a great place to live.
I host and produce KUNC’s in-depth, regional newsmagazine Colorado Edition, which has me searching across our state for peculiar and impactful stories to bring to listeners, always with a focus on empowering the people who hear our show and speaking through them to our guests. I am also a big nerd about field recording and audio editing, my dedication to which I hope serves our listeners who care about audio as much as I do.