In the minds of Hispanic and black parents, their children earning a college degree is essential, and they’re significantly more likely than white parents to say so, according to a Pew Research Center survey and reported by staffer Renee Stepler.

Today, 86% of Hispanic parents and 79% of black parents with children under 18 say it is either extremely or very important that their children earn a college degree. By comparison, about two-thirds (67%) of white parents say the same.

The way parents view a college degree’s importance in moving up the economic ladder could be a reason for the gap. Roughly half (49%) of Hispanics and 43% of blacks say that a college education is a requirement to be part of the middle class, compared with just 22% of whites. However, white adults are more likely than black or Hispanic adults to already be in the middle class or higher, which may account in part for the fact that fewer whites see college as essential.

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