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ACT, Univision Call for Better Preparing Latino Students for Standardized Tests

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Nonprofit organization ACT, which conducts standardized tests for college admissions, and Univision Communications, have made necessary recommendations to make post-secondary education accessible for Hispanic students.

Univision, the leading Hispanic media company in the U.S., and the ACT issued a joint report, “Breaking Down Barriers: Understanding Hispanic High School Students’ Perceptions on the Transition to College” wherein many recommendations were made for the policymakers and stakeholders to follow.

To compile the report and necessary recommendations, the center and Univision held a series of focus groups with nearly 50 college-bound students, mostly first-generation, and 44 parents who were asked about college expectations, future career aspirations and ways to get there, financial aid, college admissions testing among other things.

“This research should be a wakeup call to education leaders and the country as a whole,” said Jim Larimore, chief officer for ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning. “The Hispanic population is growing rapidly in the U.S. and we think it’s essential to ask parents and students about their experiences, listen to their insights and then examine what we can all do to improve outcomes.”

The report emphasized the role of parents in helping to overcome higher education challenges Hispanic students face. It pitched for providing opportunities for parents to be included in the college application process and have their questions answered.

It further called on high schools and universities for making students aware of free test preparation materials, such as ACT Online Prep or ACT Academy and fee waivers for standardized tests.

A recent report by The Education Trust found that Latinos continue to stay underrepresented in 40 of the 44 states, and especially at the community and technical colleges, while at the four-year public institutions in 33 states, their representation is not on par with the state’s proportion of Latino residents.

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