Marquette plans to boost Hispanic enrollment 15 percent over 10 years

University aiming for special designation

Marquette University plans to increase Hispanic student enrollment by more than 15 percent over the next 10 years and earn a special designation that will make it eligible for certain federal education grants.Marquette+University++%288%29

Provost Daniel Myers announced the plan Monday morning, citing demographic data that show rapid Hispanic population growth.

“The U.S. population is more than 17 percent Hispanic, and that figure is projected to increase to nearly 30 percent by 2050,” Myers said in a statement. “We must keep pace with this shifting demographic.”

To be designated as a Hispanic-serving Institution and receive certain grants from the U.S. Department of Education, Marquette must increase its percentage of Hispanic students from its current level of 9.5 percent to at least 25 percent.

There are currently no HSIs in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, Indiana or Ohio. Illinois has nine HSIs.

“Marquette is a Catholic and Jesuit university, so part of our history and our mission calls us to provide a higher education to first-generation college students, particularly those from immigrant families,” Myers said. “Furthermore, one of our strategic plan goals is around creating a culture of inclusion — if Marquette is to be a leading university, we need to diversify our student body.”

The university is forming an advisory council and searching for someone to fill a newly created position that will oversee strategic Hispanic student recruitment and outreach. Marquette will also hire an additional Spanish-speaking admissions counselor.

A study released by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation on May 5 found Milwaukee’s Hispanic population was responsible for all of the area’s net population and employment growth over the past 25 years.

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Ben Stanley, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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