July 10, 2020

HACU statement on improving access to post-secondary educational opportunities for Hispanic students

SAN ANTONIO, TX – The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) has released the following statement from its President and CEO, Antonio R. Flores, on the White House Executive Order for the Hispanic Prosperity Initiative signed by the President on July 9, 2020.

“As an association that represents colleges and universities, many that are Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) as well as Hispanic-Serving School Districts (HSSDs) in the U.S., any efforts at the federal level to address Hispanic education success should be actions that effectively address the persistent federal funding gaps for Hispanic education, particularly for HSIs and the nation’s most vulnerable students, including DACA recipients and DREAMER students.

"HSIs are engines of upward mobility for millions of students but have historically lacked funding proportionate to their numbers. In fact, HSIs receive only 68 cents for every dollar going to all other institutions of higher education annually, per student, from all federal funding sources. A significant increase in federal investments is essential to help support the growing number of HSIs, on average 28 new HSIs are added annually, and the nearly 5 million students they serve.

“Today’s 539 HSIs across the nation play a key role in educating Hispanics, collectively HSIs enroll two-thirds of all Hispanics in higher education, and other low-income and first-generation students. Nearly one quarter of all Pell-eligible students attend HSIs. Additionally, HSIs enroll 16 percent (173,535) of all international students in higher education and enroll a significant number of DACA recipients and DREAMers.

“HACU reaffirms its strong support for the HERE Act (H.R. 3827), which proposes a new grant program, authorized at $150 million, under Title V of the Higher Education Act. The program would provide support for several activities between HSIs and what the bill defines as HSSDs.  We urge Congress to pass, and the Administration to sign, this legislation as soon as possible.

“We urge the Administration and Congress to help Hispanic students across the nation and resolve many of the federal funding deficiencies that HSIs and HSSDs face. It is imperative that HSIs be equipped with equitable federal funding so that they can prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s jobs”