Nine in Ten Hispanics See a Good Education as Necessary for Immigrants to Improve their Standard of Living

Four in Five Expect Their Children to Attain At Least a Four-Year College Degree

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New York, NY – No one can argue the value of a good education and its impact in our society; with this in mind, the latest Ipsos Telemundo Poll, explores the perceptions of Hispanics about education. The study conducted among Hispanic adults living in the United States shows that this increasingly growing demographic group considers education to be very important. Among the 434 Hispanic adults interviewed, nine in ten (89%) subscribe to the belief that a good education is necessary for Hispanic immigrants in the United States to improve their standard of living – including 73% who completely agree. In comparison, just eight percent disagree.

In fact, over three-quarters (78%) of Hispanics interviewed say that being able to provide their children with a good education is one of the main reasons why Hispanics emigrate to the United States. Hispanics who feel more comfortable communicating in Spanish are even more likely to agree with the statement than are those who prefer communicating in English (83% and 73%, respectively).

High Hopes for a Better Education in the U.S….

Part of the reason why education is perceived as a motivation to emigrate to the U.S., is the generalized belief among those surveyed that “children of Hispanic immigrants receive a better education in the United States than they would in their parents’ country of origin”; with 79% of them agreeing with that statement – including 59% who completely agree. Similarly, eight in ten (78%) also agree that children of Hispanic immigrants have more opportunities to go to college in the United States than they would in the country of origin of their parents – including 56% who completely agree.

In fact, most Hispanics (81%) expect for their children or children in their family living in the U.S. to achieve at least a degree from a four-year college, including almost half (48%) who expect that they will achieve an advance degree such as a Master’s or an MBA (17%) or even go all the way to attain a doctorate or a PhD (31%).

… While Hopes for College Education are High, Important Barriers Remain

While Hispanics living in the U.S. overwhelmingly appreciate the importance of education and hope for their children at least to graduate from college, the reality is that Hispanics are less likely to go to college than are young adults from other ethnicities. With this in mind, survey respondents were asked to select the three top reasons which, in their mind, prevent more young Hispanics from attending college.

From a list of nine options provided, all three most commonly mentioned reasons are financial, including: the cost of college being too high (mentioned by 44%), followed by needing to work full time to provide for themselves or their families (36%), and lack of access to financial aid or student loans (32%).

However, the study found that there are also key non-financial reasons that may act as barriers preventing Hispanics from going to college, including: immigration status (mentioned by 31%), lack of support from peers/family (27%), and lack of knowledge on how to go about it (25%). In addition, one in five also selected the lack of motivation (19%), 13% selected insufficient English proficiency, and 12% lack of basic education needed to qualify.

The study found differences in what men and women consider are the main barriers preventing young Hispanics from going to college. Women tend to cite external reasons more often than do men, such as: cost (51% of women vs. 35% of men), lack of access to financial aid or student loans (40% vs. 27%) and immigration status (37% vs. 21%). On the other hand, men tend to cite internal reasons more often than do women: the lack of support from peers and family (39% of men vs. 22% of women) and the lack of motivation (25% vs. 12%).

Also to be noted is that, while the cost of going to college being too high is overall the most mentioned reason by all respondents combined, Hispanics who prefer communicating in Spanish are even more likely to mention immigration status (41%), while English-dominant Hispanics are more likely to mention the need to work full-time in order to provide for themselves or their families (44%).

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos-Telemundo poll conducted from August 26 - September 19, 2010 with a nationally representative sample of 434Hispanics aged 18 and older, interviewed by telephone via Ipsos’ U.S. Hispanic Omnibus. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within 4.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population of Hispanics in the U.S. been polled.

All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error. These data were weighted to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to U.S. Census figures. For the survey, respondents had the option to be interviewed in English or Spanish.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Julio C Franco
Senior Research Manager
Ipsos Public Affairs
New York, NY

About Telemundo

Telemundo Communications Group ("Telemundo"), a division of NBC Universal, is a world-class media company, leading the industry in the production and distribution of high-quality Spanish-language content across its multi-platform portfolio to U.S. Hispanics and audiences around the world. Telemundo's multiple platforms include Telemundo, a Spanish-language television network featuring original productions, theatrical motion pictures, news and first-class sports events reaching 93% of U.S. Hispanic viewers in 210 markets through its 15 owned-and-operated stations, 45 broadcast affiliates, and 800 cable affiliates; mun2, the preeminent voice for bicultural Hispanics in the U.S. reaching over 30 million U.S. TV households nationwide on digital and analog cable, satellite and free television; Telemundo Digital Media, which leverages Telemundo's original content for distribution across digital and emerging platforms including mobile devices and and ; and Telemundo Internacional, the company's international distribution arm which has positioned Telemundo as the second largest provider of Spanish-language content worldwide by syndicating content to more than 100 countries in over 35 languages.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals that helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world. Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends to develop and test emergent or existing products or services, and build brands. They also test advertising and study audience responses to various media, and measure public opinion around the globe.

They help clients create long-term relationships with their customers, stakeholders or other constituencies. Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting and offers a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2009, Ipsos generated global revenues of €943.7 million ($1.33 billion U.S.).

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Nine in Ten Hispanics See a Good Education as Necessary for Immigrants to Improve their Standard of Living

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Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services,
North America