Guest Post: A Big Hand for Increased Amount of Hispanics in College, but Take On the Challenge

I’m happy to introduce to you Kelly Dawes, she will be guest blogging at Brand Lateen for a few weeks. A little bit more about Kelly

Chicago raised girl living in Dallas who’s goal is to break down cultural barriers by using her skills and talents to create inspiring messages that in turn impact individuals’ lives. Personal quote, “Life has so many places I want to visit, faces I want to meet and lives I hope to touch.”

A Big Hand for Increased Amount of Hispanics in College, but Take On the Challenge.

By: Kelly Dawes

The word recession is at the tip of everyone’s tongue, in the back of every CEO’s mind, and behind every business’s financial reports. Some are optimistic about the future while others are uncertain. With large numbers of individuals struggling to find jobs, many have returned back to school in hopes of bettering their credentials and with the goal of ultimately landing a job.

What is certain is that amidst this economic uncertainty there is an increase in freshman enrollment at four-year colleges, community colleges and trade schools since 2007 (Fry 2010). Not only has the recession increased the number of students attending post-secondary institutions, a huge surge in Hispanic attendees has dominated that boom. For the first time, Hispanics are outnumbering young blacks on campus; Hispanics ages 18-24 now make up 24% of total college enrollment and are the largest minority group on college campuses (Tavernise 2011). With a 7% population increase among Hispanics per the 2010 U.S. Census, it’s clear that more than a population increase contributed to the narrowing of this gap.

A huge applause is in order for this increase in Hispanic college attendees. More and more Hispanics are receiving higher education, which has the potential to develop remarkable new minds and create great talent. What exactly does this recent trend mean for advertisers? The need for Hispanic advertising is growing, but how does that specifically impact the advertising scene? A 2008 College Board study found that in 2008 the average amount that students owed in loans once they graduated was $23,000 (Thomas 2010), with more and more of Generation Y opting for the “pay for it later” mindset, even adding to their credit card debt. On average, General Y has more than three credit cards and 20% carry a balance of more than $10,000 according to Fidelity Investments.

As a current graduate student in my second year, I can relate to the norm of my generation with large debt in student loans. I filed for student loans for the first time a year ago and within 25 minutes, my school authorized the loans from just a few mouse clicks. With those few clicks a life-changing thing happened: I had thousands of dollars of debt in my name and no degree or job yet to pay those loans back. The thought kept me up those first few months as I embarked on my journey to receive my Masters. A while later, I received an $8,000 reimbursement check for overestimating the loans I needed. For Generation Y, we look at this huge check written in our name and cashing it is beyond tempting. What is even scarier is that I have seen many of my friends use the reimbursement check they receive from the government not towards rent or living expenses, but instead towards splurge purchases: a spring break vacation, high heel shoes, a party they “had to throw,” or even a new laptop that they did not need. The struggles of my generation are very apparent to me in my daily life.

As media leaders who are creating messages geared towards the growing number of Hispanic college attendees, it’s our responsibility to be aware of this generation’s financial debt. More and more of Generation Y is going into debt during their schooling, which means growing amounts of Hispanics are struggling in this same area. We can either create messages that mirror society or instead create messaging that helps mold society.

Our advertising choices—in the messages we create, the decisions we make behind closed doors on campaign ideas and pitches—should reflect this growing economic concern. Finances and debt impact everyone, but we have the ability to help foster positive change, especially with Hispanics, through our advertisements.  For the next few decades, Hispanics are predicted to continue growing in college attendance and one day are predicted to no longer be the minority.  This too should be applauded, but remember their financial struggles, and take that on as your challenge.

6 comments

1 Gustavo Alfonso Gudiño Dorantes { 10.01.11 at 2:34 am }

This is really good for us, Latin people, who want to improve oneself. In most of our birth countries we have a lack of education and, most of the times, we can’t go to school because some external factors like money. But at Colleges in United States it’s a different story. There, if you are admitted in, you can get a scholarship easily. The last year a friend of mine was admitted at MIT, It was really impressive and also really good because he is really intelligent and he is worth of the educational level of the MIT. And also he got a really good scholarship.

2 Luis Fernando Carrillo Navarro { 10.01.11 at 5:58 am }

My opinion about this topic is that is not bad the big increased Amount of hispanics, because that makes collage more interesting and with more diveristy, in other terms hispanics should get more interest in collage and its benefits.

3 José Miguel Franco González { 10.02.11 at 7:47 pm }

Hi! I am also a university student with a loan, and I agree on how this loans can affect economics and finances, soon lateens are not going to be a minority anymore, but I also think that loans aren’t as bad as you said, I personally think that loans give that opportunity for the people who are’nt able to pay for a good education, Loans give us the opportunity to have a better future and if we know how to handle them, they are really useful.

4 Sussy Oranday { 10.04.11 at 5:21 am }

When I began reading the article I thought it was kind of boring, but when I read it more and more I realize that it has a lot to do with me, specially for the part that says that the colleague students all ready have a big dept at their names and this happens a lot for us that study in the ITESM.
Al so is very impressive to know that a lot of people are getting back to school to get a better degree and finally being able to get a job, that makes me want to be more prepare for the moment I graduate, I guess that I will take all the chances that I get to learn something new that can help me with my career.

5 alejandra suarez { 10.07.11 at 3:52 pm }

Thanks so much for your insight. I agree and think it is fabulous the opportunities that arise from the ability to take out loans to better your future.

6 Enrique { 06.21.12 at 1:05 am }

Thanks so much for your insight

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