Number of young Hispanics in college surges

The number of Hispanic 18-to-24 year-olds enrolled in college is surging. A new report says the figure grew by 24 percent last year — which means an additional 350,000 young Hispanics enrolled in school.

The numbers come from a study published Thursday by the Pew Hispanic Center.

It's the largest such increase on record, and is noteworthy because it's substantially higher than the 7-percent increase in the overall population of Hispanics that age.

That more Hispanics are completing high school, and thus becoming eligible for college, is one factor. But the economy is another, with fewer jobs available for students who stop at high school.

For the first time there are now more Hispanics in the traditional college-age group enrolled on U.S. college campuses. But enrollment of white 18-to-24 year-olds fell by more than 300,000.