However, Latino graduation rates are low. In California, 47 percent of first time, full-time white college students complete degrees compared to only 35 percent of Latinos, reports Excelencia in Education.
It's not clear how many undocumented students earn a college degree.
Only 5 percent to 10 percent of undocumented high school graduates enroll in college, estimates the Immigration Policy Center. Those who do are highly motivated.
"They hunger for education in a way that, sadly, some students in our country do not," says Isa Adney, a student life coordinator at Seminole State College in Florida.
At Downtown College Prep, which sends all its graduates to college, 540 students are much more likely to earn a degree than their classmates who are citizens or legal residents, says Andaluz. "Their attitude seems to be: 'My parents sacrificed so much for me. I can't squander my opportunities. The golden gates are going to open and I need to be ready.'"
Joanne Jacobs writes Community College Spotlight for The Hechinger Report, an independent nonprofit education news site. Jacobs also blogs about K-12 education and is the author of Our School: The Inspiring Story of Two Teachers, One Big Idea and the Charter School That Beat the Odds.