University of Ark. to study Hispanic college prep

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — The University of Arkansas office of diversity affairs has received a $121,520 grant to look into why fewer Hispanics than whites in Arkansas are prepared for college.

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education awarded the grant, which also is geared toward finding a way to close the gap.

Assistant Vice Provost for Diversity Luis Restrepo says only 50 percent of Latinos take the ACT, a standardized college prep test, compared with 80 percent of whites. Restrepo says Hispanic students who do take the ACT tend to place significantly lower than whites.

Restrepo says educational barriers, socio-economic differences, language and immigration status may contribute to the gap.

He says officials want to know if and how the schools' institutional cultures are related to the low percentage of Hispanics taking the test.


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