Latino Enrollment at Hispanic-Serving Institutions Exceeds 1 Million

Feb. 13, 2015

By Sheryl Estrada

On Wednesday, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and Excelencia in Education released an analysis of the progress of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). The data offer that in 2013, 409 institutions met the federal enrollment criterion to be classified as an HSI, enrolling a total of 1,708,391 Latinos, which includes 1.6 million undergraduate students.

HACU and Excelencia in Education are advocates for HSIs, which are colleges, universities or systems/districts where Latino students make up a minimum of 25 percent of the total enrollment. The analysis provides information from the 20132014 school year, as well as highlights from two decades worth of data, from 1994 to 2014.

HSIs make up 12.1 percent of nonprofit colleges and universities, yet enroll 20 percent of all students and 58.9 percent of all Latino students.

“Accelerating Latino student success requires better understanding the institutions where students are choosing to enroll,” Sarita Brown, President of Excelencia, said in a statement.

She noted the release is part of 20 years of data on HSIs that HACU and Excelencia are analyzing “in conjunction with institutional practices, policies and leadership that serve students’ academic aspirations and increase degree completion.”

HSIs, which help Latino students achieve success in higher education, werefirst recognized at the federal level in the Higher Education Act (1992). They were granted $12 million in 1995, the first funding from federal resources. In 2014, $98 millionwas appropriated for the HSI undergraduate programunder Title V of the Higher Education Act.

As there is no official annual list of HSIs released by the federal government, HACU and Excelencia offer a list of HSIs in 21 states and Puerto Rico. The organizations say the list follows a methodology that aligns as closely as possible to the definition of HSIs as established in the Higher Education Act.

Five States With the Highest Number of HSIs Based on Fall 2013 Enrollment of Latino Undergraduate Students

StatesNumber of HSIs
New Mexico23
New York19

Puerto Rico has 58 HSIs.


HSI Highlights (19942014):

Year 1994Year 2014
Number of HSIs189409
U.S. States with HSIs1321
Graduate Programs at HSIs52156
Concentrated Enrollment (At Least 50% of Student Body Is Latino)97153
Four-Year HSI Colleges or Universities86206

Other highlights include emerging HSIs, institutions that may soon meet the HSI definition as their Latino enrollment increases. There are 296 institutions located in 29 states and Washington, D.C. that fall under this criterion. Also, in 2013-2014, 38 percent of Latino graduate students enrolled at an HSI.

“The new figures represent America’s future workforce seen in the 409 Hispanic-Serving Institutions in 21 states and Puerto Rico that are serving the overwhelming majority of the 3 million Hispanic students in college today,” HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores said in a statement. “HSIs remain sorely underfunded and receive on average only 68 cents in federal funding on a per-student basis for every dollar going to the rest of higher education.”

HACU has recommended $175 million be appropriated for fiscal year 2015.

DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti is a member of HACU’s Corporate and Philanthropy Council. He is also chairman of the New Jersey City University Foundation Board. NJCU is an HSI.

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