In celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, it’s important to recognize the contributions of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and the remarkable impact they have had on communities across the country. The Hispanic-Serving Institutions designation was first created in the Higher Education Amendments of 1992. The statutory requirement for an institution to qualify as an HSI is that it must be an eligible public or private non-profit institution of higher education and have the enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic students. This requirement ensures that HSIs are supporting first-generation and/or low-income Hispanic students.
- Today, there are HSIs in 24 states and Puerto Rico.
- As of 2018, there were 411 designated HSIs
- HSIs enrolled 50 percent of all Hispanic students in postsecondary education, according to 2018 data.
- Overall, these institutions enrolled 1.8 million Hispanic students.
- On average, the Hispanic student population enrolled in HSIs is 47.9 percent.
- 223 HSIs are four-year institutions, with 108 public and 115 nonprofits.
- 188 HSIs are two-year institutions with 179 public and 9 nonprofits.
- There are three U.S. Department of Education grant programs that specifically support HSIs:
- The Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (DHSI) Program helps HSIs expand educational opportunities for, and improve the attainment of, Hispanic students. Recently, the program awarded $69 million to 118 HSIs for the development of these programs.
- The Hispanic-Serving Institutions – Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (HSI STEM) and Articulation Programs assist HSIs to increase the number of Hispanic and other low-income students attain STEM degrees and develop model transfer and articulation agreements between two-year and four-year institutions in the STEM fields.
- The Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans (PPOHA) Program provides grants to expand postbaccalaureate educational opportunities for, and improve the academic attainment of, Hispanic students
HSIs have been critical to making the promise of a postsecondary education a reality for many Hispanic students and to increasing the number of certificates and degrees attained by Hispanic students across the country. They have helped provide important pathways for in-demand jobs, apprenticeships, internships, fellowships, mentorships, and work-based learning initiatives through public-private partnerships and have partnered with their local school districts to offer dual enrollment programs. These and many more innovative contributions of HSIs are worth celebrating not just during Hispanic Heritage Month, but all year long.