A Hispanic-serving institution, or HSI, is a term used for a Federal program designed to assist colleges or universities in the United States that attempt to assist first generation, majority low income Hispanic students.
- Cannot be a for-profit University.
- Must offer at least two-year academic programs that lead to a degree.
- Must be accredited by an agency or association recognized by the Department of Education.
- Must have high enrollment of needy students
- Have at least a 25% Hispanic undergraduate full-time-equivalent student enrollment
The Department of Education offers large grants to institutions defined as HSI which can be used for many academic purposes serving all ethnicities at the institution including faculty development, funds and administrative management, development and improvement of academic programs, endowment funds, curriculum development, scientific or laboratory equipment for teaching, renovation of instructional facilities, joint use of facilities, academic tutoring, counseling programs and student support services.
In 1992, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities led the effort to convince Congress to formally recognize campuses with high Hispanic enrollment as federally designated HSIs and to begin targeting federal appropriations to those campuses. Today, HACU represents nearly 450 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain and Portugal. Although HACU member institutions in the U. S. represent less than 10% of all higher education institutions nationwide, together they enroll more than two-thirds of all Hispanic college students. HACU is the only national educational association that represents Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).
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