September 22, 2021

HACU releases report, “Federal Underfunding and Infrastructure Needs of HSIs in the Age of COVID-19”


SAN ANTONIO – The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities has released a report on Hispanic-Serving Institutions and the need for increased federal funding to improve their educational capacity. The report “Federal Underfunding and Infrastructure Needs of HSIs in the Age of COVID-19,” calls for equitable federal support critical to better equip the growing number of HSIs so they can thrive beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. As of fall 2019, HSIs represent a total of 569 HSIs in 28 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

The report includes data responses from HSIs surveyed, adapted from a similar study conducted by the U.S. General Accounting Office in June of 2018 on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

According to HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores “In the absence of a GAO report on Hispanic-Serving Institutions, HACU conducted an abbreviated study to help increase awareness of a persisting underfunding gap for HSIs and the critical federal resources needed such as campus infrastructure repairs and research facilities to adequately prepare the students for the future jobs of our nation.”

HSIs are institutions with 25% or more of Hispanic student enrollment. In 2019-20, HSIs made up 17% of all institutions of higher education. As a cohort, HSIs enroll 41.3% of Asian American, 35.6% of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, 24.4% of Black, and 15.8% of non-Hispanic White students.

“As of fall 2019, HSIs nationwide educate 5.24 million students, including 67% of the 3.8 million Hispanic college students. Federal investments in their infrastructure are in the nation’s best interest to educate the diverse student population at HSIs,” said Flores.

The HSI report addresses the inequalities in federal funding and offers three policy recommendations to serve as a guide to policy makers and education advocates.

  • HACU recommends using the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act mandatory funding formula for the allocation of funds to HSIs or the Pell Grant institutional cohort data to allocate equitable federal funding for HSIs.
  • HACU urges the establishment an HSIs Capital Financing Grant Program with an authorization and appropriation level of $10 billion to address the pressing infrastructure needs of HSIs that were exacerbated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • HACU requests the GAO conduct a comprehensive report to assess the capital financing needs of all HSIs within a suitable policy framework.

“This report is vital to raising the level of awareness about the need to reverse the funding inequities for HSIs that play a prominent role in educating a diverse and talented workforce,” added Flores.

The report is available for download here.

About HACU 
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, founded in 1986, represents more than 500 colleges and universities in the United States, Latin America, Spain and school districts throughout the U.S. The Association’s headquarters are in San Antonio, Texas, with regional offices in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, California. HACU is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). Additional information is available at


HACU Media Contact:

Norma Jean Revilla-Garcia
Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities

Christopher de Hoyos
Assistant Director of Communications and Social Media
Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities