March 15, 2010 | | Leave a comment For Hispanic-Americans, a group disproportionately plagued by high unemployment rates and poverty, college degrees represent a life-changing opportunity. A Pew Hispanic Center study found that 17 percent of 16-24 year old first-generation Hispanic-Americans dropped out, a rate three times greater than their Caucasian counterparts and two times greater than their African-American peers. For second-generation Hispanics born in the U.S., however, the dropout rate fell to 8.5 percent. This decrease is largely attributed to the availability of education in the U.S. “Education is perhaps the greatest benefit the U.S. offers to immigrants and anyone looking to move upward economically,” says Marcus Varner, education analyst at ClassesandCareers.com, a free college information service. “With thousands of colleges and universities and various forms of financial aid available, literally anyone who has a desire can get into school, get a degree, and create a better life for them and their family.” Statistics confirm that college degrees equal a higher quality of life, including higher salaries, better career satisfaction, and better physical health. The Census Bureau states that the average salary for workers 18 and over with a bachelor’s degree earn $51,206 while those with a high school diploma made only $27,915. The widespread availability of colleges and universities, both online and on-campus, also makes education more of a possibility for Hispanics. Varner continues, “With an internet connection and a few evenings a week, they can work toward a degree without sacrificing their job.” ClassesandCareers.com offers free information about online schools, courses, and financial aid. In a few minutes, visitors can get their questions answered by representatives from top online universities. Find out how you can improve your quality of life with a college degree. Visit ClassesandCareers.comand fill out their form to be connected with top online colleges. They will answer your questions and help you find the degree programs and financial aid you need to move ahead.