About Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs)


HACU's Position
HACU’s mission is to champion Hispanic success in higher education. HSIs are at the forefront of efforts to increase educational access and success for the nation's Hispanic population. Together, HSIs represent only 20% of institutions nationwide, yet they are home to almost two-thirds of the Hispanic student population.

Among the requirements laid out in the Higher Education Act (HEA), HSIs enroll at least 25% full-time enrollment Hispanic undergraduate students and offer access to a significant proportion of the nation’s most underserved and underrepresented student groups. Increased federal resources are needed to improve Hispanics' educational attainment.


In the 2022-23 school year, HSIs grew to 600 institutions, a 4.9% increase from 2021-2022, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. While the number of HSIs has increased, funding has remained static relative to their growth. The following map shows the relative distribution of Hispanic undergraduate students, HSIs, and Federal HSI funds


HSIs Today
In 2022, 600 institutions met the federal HSI enrollment criterion, enrolling two-thirds of all Hispanic undergraduate students. 

  • HSIs enroll 31.7% of all undergraduate students in nonprofit postsecondary education. 
  • Of the top 10 colleges and universities ranked by the Social Mobility Index (SMI) in 2023, nine were HSIs.
  • A majority of HSIs are in urban areas and are concentrated geographically, with 82% (489) of these institutions located in seven states and one territory: California (172), Florida (30), Illinois (34), New Jersey (23), New Mexico (24), New York (39), Texas (111), and Puerto Rico (56).


Looking Ahead: Addressing Underfunding of HSIs
One of the main challenges HSIs face is persistent underfunding relative to other degree-granting institutions. According to the 2020-21 IPEDS, HSIs on average received $6,721.61 per student from all federal revenue sources compared to $9,136.86 per student for all degree-granting institutions.  This funding discrepancy exists even though HSIs educate a disproportionately low-income student population. As a result, HSIs only receive on average 74 cents for every federal dollar that goes to all other colleges and universities annually.

A significant increase in national investments is essential to support the growing number of HSIs and their students. It is imperative that stakeholders join efforts to advocate on their behalf. The current fiscal conditions and political climate necessitate a targeted and consistent effort. If the nation is to meet its workforce needs for the rest of this century, it needs to commit to the educational attainment of its Hispanic citizens.

Despite being financially disadvantaged compared to other higher education institutions, HSIs are engines of upward mobility for millions of students. The data makes a strong case for increased investment in institutions, especially HSIs, that meet students where they are and maximize the value of higher education for individuals, families, and communities.


Additional Resources

  • HACU State by State Comparison of Total Hispanic Enrollment | PDF Download
  • HACU State by State Count of HSIs and Emerging HSIs | PDF Download
  • HACU List of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) 2022-23 | PDF Download
  • HACU List of Emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) 2022-23 | PDF Download


Did you know?
HSIs only receive 74 cents for every dollar going to all other colleges and universities annually, per student, from all federal funding sources.