May 3, 2024

HACU urges Congress to increase funding for Hispanic-Serving Institutions

SAN ANTONIO – The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities has released a statement following a written testimony submitted on May 3, 2024, to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. In the testimony, HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores urged Congress to increase funding for Hispanic-Serving Institution programs under the Higher Education Act, Part V.

“HACU calls on Congress to increase funding for our nation’s 600 Hispanic-Serving Institutions that educate over 5 million students who are the future workforce of our nation,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. “We owe our students the opportunity to achieve success and fulfill their dreams of prosperity, especially if we hope to maintain America’s standing as a global leader. This can only happen if we support and fund Hispanic-Serving Institutions at a level that is equitable and fair.”

The number of HSIs has nearly doubled over the past decade, with these institutions not only supporting the educational advancement of Hispanic students, who represent a significant population of these schools, but also serving a diverse student body including 41.4% of Asian students, 35.5% of Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander students, 24.8% of Black students, 21.7% of American Indian & Alaska Native students, and 17.5% of non-Hispanic White students in undergraduate programs across the country. Despite their pivotal role as educators of over 5 million students, HSIs continue to face significant funding disparities.

HACU requested funding for the following programs in the submitted testimony:

$350 million for Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (Title V, Part A). The program is the primary federal vehicle for targeted funding to HSIs, but the growth of HSIs has far outpaced the funds available, leading to inequitable funding that must be addressed. Since 1995, DHSI grants have enabled HSIs to expand educational opportunities and improve educational attainment for Hispanic students by addressing key areas such as developing and enhancing academic programs, faculty development, infrastructure maintenance, and technology updates.

$150 million for Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans (Title V, Part B). The program supports HSIs in expanding and enhancing postbaccalaureate academic offerings and improving Hispanic student academic attainment. Hispanics now earn 9% of all doctorates, up from 6.4% in 2014, progress that still falls short compared to the more than 20% Hispanic enrollment overall in U.S. higher education. The current gap is likely to grow without considerable funding enhancements.

HACU has also requested funding for a new program to support the capital financing needs of the 600 HSIs across the country, which is vital and necessary for these institutions to increase capacity and deliver sufficient educational services and programs.

HACU supports passage of the Hispanic Educational Resources and Empowerment (HERE) Act and seeks a $20 million allocation to initiate a pilot program at the Department of Education to bridge achievement gaps and foster educational collaboration from PK-12 through higher education.

Read the full text of the testimony here.

HACU has issued a call to action to its members and supporters to contact Members of Congress to urge them to increase funding for Hispanic-Serving Institutions programs under the Higher Education Act, Part V. Click here to send a letter to your Member of Congress.