New Hampshire Educational Attainment and Schools
Education is one factor that influences economic success. Some Latinos have high levels of education, whereas others have not finished high school. Over a quarter of all Latinos age 25 and older in the state did not have a high school diploma or its equivalent. This trend may be continuing for Latino youths still in school. The high school dropout rate for Latinos in Manchester’s Central High School in 2004 was twice that of the greater student body. In response, in 2005 Manchester High School initiated a program called Latino Parent Night to address the complex reasons for this high dropout rate.
New Hampshire’s colleges and universities have made efforts to recruit Latinos to their institutions. Realizing that many of the state’s Latino youth were not attending the state’s colleges and universities, the New Hampshire College and University Council organized an effort to help the state’s Latinos continue their education through college. Its Latino Initiative sponsors an Annual Latino Student Convention for Higher Education to encourage Latino high school students to enroll in the state’s colleges and universities. The program has enjoyed great success. Since its inception in 2002, the Latino population in the state’s postsecondary educational institutions has doubled.
Another factor influencing human capital attainment is language proficiency. Latino migrants differ in their ability to speak English very well. Colombians, Puerto Ricans, and Cubans have self-reported fluency rates above that of Asian migrants. However, Dominicans and Mexicans lag behind in their ability to speak English very well. One effort made to address problems that Latinos might have with language was to provide translation services. The Latin American Center was the state’s first Latino social service agency. It was incorporated in the 1970s, and it has provided assistance with language and other social services for Latinos in southern New Hampshire for over 33 years.