University of Georgia relaunching Latino recruitment effort

September 23, 2020 Athens - Students wear face masks as they make their way through the campus in the University of Georgia campus in Athens on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
Caption
September 23, 2020 Athens - Students wear face masks as they make their way through the campus in the University of Georgia campus in Athens on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

University of Georgia officials announced a plan Thursday to recruit more Latino and Hispanic students.

The university’s Presidential Task Force on Race, Ethnicity, and Community has provided $30,000 to reestablish a program that began a few years ago aimed at increasing representation among a group that is growing in population statewide, but underrepresented on campus.

While Hispanic student enrollment has doubled in the past decade from 1,027 students in 2009 to 2,262 last year, about 5.8% of UGA’s 39,000 students are Hispanic or Latino, state data shows. Nearly 10% of Georgia’s population is Hispanic or Latino, U.S. Census Bureau data shows.

“Working with our current students the Office of Undergraduate Admissions will introduce more members of the Hispanic and Latinx communities to the educational opportunities available at the University of Georgia,” President Jere Morehead said in a statement. “This program is an example of our continued commitment to increasing the pipeline of underrepresented students to UGA.”

January 9, 20201 Athens - UGA President Jere Morehead makes a remark during a ceremonial ringing of the Chapel Bell to honor the 60th anniversary of desegregation of the University of Georgia outside the UGA Chapel on the campus in Athens on Saturday, January 9, 2021. On January 9, 1961, two courageous students, Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter, took heroic steps on the University of GeorgiaÕs campus to enroll as students followed by Mary Frances Early, who entered graduate school that summer. Their legacies continue as they have contributed a lifetime of public service to their communities. Because of these students, the university now boasts a diverse campus made of numerous nationalities, races and ethnicities. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
Caption
January 9, 20201 Athens - UGA President Jere Morehead makes a remark during a ceremonial ringing of the Chapel Bell to honor the 60th anniversary of desegregation of the University of Georgia outside the UGA Chapel on the campus in Athens on Saturday, January 9, 2021. On January 9, 1961, two courageous students, Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter, took heroic steps on the University of GeorgiaÕs campus to enroll as students followed by Mary Frances Early, who entered graduate school that summer. Their legacies continue as they have contributed a lifetime of public service to their communities. Because of these students, the university now boasts a diverse campus made of numerous nationalities, races and ethnicities. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Morehead committed $1 million of private resources from the university’s athletic association to support the task force’s recommendations.

UGA will relaunch “Padres e Hijos” (or Parents and Students), a bilingual student recruitment program that brings a few dozen underrepresented but academically competitive high school seniors and their families to visit campus. The program prepares students and their families for the college application process and introduces them to various student support services at UGA in a bilingual format.

The university’s effort comes amid a push by President Joe Biden, who took office Wednesday, that could result in more Hispanic students in U.S. colleges and universities. Biden issued an executive order Wednesday to defer the removal of some undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children and stayed in school or enlisted in the military.