In the higher education system of the United States, minority-serving institutions (abbreviated MSI) make up a category of educational establishments (federally recognized Title IV colleges and universities) based on enrollment criteria (typically the percentage of enrolled minorities at a particular school). Such schools are eligible for federal funding under Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Until 2007, no federal legislation existed concerning Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Serving Institutions. The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 made history, because it federally recognized the existence of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) serving institutions, making them eligible to be designated as minority serving institutions.
- historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) (e.g. Howard University)
- Black-serving non-HBCUs – institutions in which African American students amount to at least 25% of the total undergraduate enrollment, while other minority groups each constitute less than 25% of total undergraduate enrollment (e.g. Georgia State University). (For a school to be legally considered an HBCU, it must have been specifically founded to educate African Americans, and have existed prior to 1964.)
- Hispanic-serving institutions – institutions in which Hispanic students amount to at least 25% of the total undergraduate enrollment, while other minority groups each constitute less than 25% of total undergraduate enrollment (e.g. University of Texas at El Paso and University of Texas Rio Grande Valley)
- Asian-serving institutions – institutions in which Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (API) students constitute at least 25% of the total undergraduate enrollment, while other minority groups each constitute less than 25% of total undergraduate enrollment (e.g. University of California, Los Angeles)
- American Indian-serving institutions – tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) or institutions that are not HBCUs/TCUs but in which American Indian/Alaska Native students constitute at least 25 percent of the total undergraduate enrollment, while students in each of the other minority groups constitute less than 25 percent of the total undergraduate enrollment (e.g. Southeastern Oklahoma State University)
- Other minority-serving: institutions in which minority students constitute at least 50 percent of the total undergraduate enrollment, but do not fit any of the above categories
- Non-minority-serving: institutions that do not meet any of the criteria described above
Specific Executive Orders currently governing MSI operations include
- E.O. 12876, Historically Black Colleges and Universities
- E.O. 12900; White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans
- E.O. 13021 Tribal Colleges and Universities; E.O. 13096 American Indian and Alaska Native Education
- E.O. 13125, Increasing Federal Programs for Asian American Pacific Islanders
- E.O. 13078, Increasing Employment of Adults with Disabilities.
- Gasman, Marybeth; Benjamin Baez; Caroline Sotello Viernes Turner (2008). Understanding minority-serving institutions. SUNY Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-7359-7.
- Chen, Edith Wen-Chu (2010). Encyclopedia of Asian American Issues Today. 1. ABC-CLIO. p. 177. ISBN 978-0-313-34751-1.
- "Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) Intern Program". Federal Aviation Administration. 28 April 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- Li, Xiaojie; C. Dennis Carroll (November 2007). "Characteristics of Minority-Serving Institutions and Minority Undergraduates Enrolled in These Institutions: Postsecondary Education Descriptive Analysis Report" (PDF). Institute of Education Sciences. US Department of Education.
 Ogbu, John U. (1992). Understanding Cultural Diversity and Learning. Educational Researcher,21(8), 5-14.
- MSI site for the Federal Aviation Administration
- Minority Serving Institutions - Community of Partners Council
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- Ogbu, John U. (2004). "Understanding Cultural Diversity and learning". Educational Researchers. 21 (8): 5–14.