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May 6, 2014

Member Advisory

US Department of Agriculture Releases updated list of Hispanic-Serving Agricultural Colleges and Universities (HSACUs) for 2014

The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) released a final rule and an updated list of Hispanic-Serving Agricultural Colleges and Universities (HSACUs), bringing the total number of HSACUs up to 97. The criteria for HSACU designation are: (1) be a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), (2) offer agriculture-related degrees, (3) not appear on the Excluded Parties List, (4) be accredited, and (5) award at least 15% of agriculture-related degrees to Hispanic students over the two most recent academic years. 

HSIs not granted HSACU certification may submit an appeal within 30 days after April 28.  Detailed information can be found here: http://www.nifa.usda.gov/nea/education/pdfs/hispanic/2.4_hsacu_appeal.pdf.

In its ruling, the USDA also set forth initial information about how an HSACU can request to not be an HSACU.  If an institution applies and the USDA agrees, the institution can opt out of its HSACU designation: a declaration of an institution not to be considered an HSACU shall remain in effect until September 30, 2018.  The announcement explains that NIFA would be publishing the process to apply for the Non–Land Grant College of Agriculture (NLGCA) by May 1.  By definition, HSACUs are not eligible for NLGCA designation.  NIFA has not published any further information about the NLGCA program. 

The full list of 97 institutions granted HSACU status for 2014 can be found here: http://www.nifa.usda.gov/nea/education/in_focus/hispanic_if_hispanic_HSACU.html.

The full Federal Register announcement can be found here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-04-28/pdf/2014-09559.pdf.

HACU has prioritized advocating for funding for HSACUs this year.  If you are interested in joining a working group to help with this priority, please contact Serena Dávila, HACU’s Executive Director of Legislative Affairs, at serena.davila@hacu.net.