Hispanic-Serving Institution Definitions
Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) are defined in Title V of the Higher Education Act as not-for-profit institutions of higher learning with a full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate student enrollment that is at least 25 percent Hispanic. The federal definition can be found here: www2.ed.gov/print/programs/idueshsi/definition.html.
HACU has two lists and definitions of HSIs -- Advocacy and Membership
1. For HACU's advocacy and research purposes, the "List of HSIs" follows the criteria set forth in Title V of the Higher Education Act.
2. For HACU’s membership purposes, HSIs are defined as colleges, universities, or systems/districts where total Hispanic enrollment constitutes a minimum of 25% of the total enrollment.
Previously, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Education would publish a list of Postsecondary Minority Institutions at: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/edlite-minorityinst.html. They also have a link to an outdated list of "High Hispanic Enrollment" institutions at http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/edlite-minorityinst-list-hisp-tab.html. However, since that list was last updated in 2008 and includes non-profit and for-profit institutions, it is not a reliable listing of HSIs.
Listing as an HSI by HACU, on either list, does not “certify” an institution as an HSI for Title V or other Federal grant purposes. Title V eligibility (i.e., meeting the Federal definition of an HSI) is determined by the U.S. Department of Education as the first step in the application process for a Title V grant. Specifically, if your college or university has (1) a full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment of undergraduate students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic students and (2) not less than 50 percent of all students are eligible for need-based Title IV aid, it should be an “eligible institution” for Title V.
Eligibility designation qualifies an institution of higher education to receive grants under the Title V and Title III, Part A, Programs, provided certain other program-specific eligibility requirements are met. Title V authorizes the Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program. Title III, Part A, authorizes the Strengthening Institutions, American Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities, and Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions Programs. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Institutional Development and Undergraduate Education Service administers both programs. Visit their website for additional information. In particular, visit the Title V Program Statute for legislation about Title V.