Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Immigrants and the Children of Immigrants in U.S. Schools

A new report shows that the percent of undergraduate students who were immigrants remained stable (8 to 10 percent) between 1999-2000 and 2011-12. In that same period, the percentage of students who were second-generation American students increased from 10 percent to 16 percent.

The National Center for Education Statistics, in the Institute of Education Sciences, today (November 29) released a new Statistics in Brief report, entitled New American Undergraduates: Enrollment Trends and Age at Arrival of Immigrant and Second-Generation Students. The report describes the demographic and enrollment characteristics of New Americans, defined as immigrants and children of immigrants.

The core analysis compares the demographic characteristics, academic preparation, and enrollment characteristics of New American students with a focus on Asian and Hispanic undergraduates. The report also examines immigrant students’ age at arrival in the United States and its association with their academic preparation and enrollment. The study’s key findings include:

•    Among all immigrant undergraduates, 46 percent arrived in the United States as children (under 12 years old), 20 percent as adolescents (12-17 years old), and 34 percent as adults (18 or older). A larger percentage of Hispanic than Asian immigrants arrived as children (52 percent vs. 44 percent);

•    Enrollment rates and parental experience with postsecondary education differed between immigrant Asian and Hispanic students. For instance, 85 percent of immigrant Asian students enrolled in postsecondary programs at age 23 or younger compared to 75 percent of immigrant Hispanic students. Also, 40 percent of Asian immigrant students and 52 percent of Hispanic immigrant students had parents who had never attended college.

•    Immigrants who arrived as children were better prepared for college than their peers who arrived as adolescents or adults, as measured by college-level coursetaking in high school and developmental education coursetaking in college.

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