Institutional Member Benefits

Government Relations

The Government Relations Office serves as HACU’s chief advocacy arm in Washington, DC, and represents Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and Hispanic students before the U.S. Congress.

Advocacy – HACU efforts have been instrumental in convincing Congress to appropriate funds for Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and other institutions which support Hispanic student success in higher education. Title V funding has increased from $12 million in 1995 to $104 million in 2012. Other grants programs in the United States Departments of Agriculture, Defense, and Housing and Urban Development bring the cumulative federal commitment to HSIs to over $2 billion as a result of HACU’s advocacy efforts. A new program in 2010 commits $100 million annually in federal grants for HSIs to improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

Capitol Forum – This yearly conference in Washington, DC, provides an important opportunity to learn about legislative issues affecting Hispanic higher education and direct access to congressional leaders to promote the important role of HSIs in achieving Hispanic student success in higher education.

Legislative Agenda – HACU’s Legislative Agenda is presented during the Capitol Forum. The Agenda addresses Hispanic higher education needs across the K-20 pipeline and beyond. It also identifies appropriations requests for programmatic funding for HSIs during the upcoming federal fiscal year and identifies long-range education, labor, research and outreach priorities for HSIs through amendment recommendations for the reauthorization of major legislation, including the Higher Education Act, the Farm Bill, the National Science Foundation, the Energy Act, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, immigration reform and other legislation of major interest to HSIs and the nation’s Hispanic community.

Member Advisories and Action Alerts – Electronic notifications provide members with the latest legislative developments, encourage legislative interaction with congressional members on specific legislative matters and report on funding opportunities for HSIs. Individual institutional requests for guidance, specific legislative and statistical information and support are also facilitated by HACU.

Memoranda of Understanding and Partnership Agreements – More than 30 agreements have been signed with federal agencies, corporate partners and international organizations.

Regional Offices – HACU established a regional office to serve Western States in Sacramento, California, in 2005. HACU’s regional presence enables the association to take an active role in state and local efforts to ensure Hispanic student success and enhance collaboration for addressing national and local legislative matters.

Conferences and Events

HACU hosts three major conferences which provide vital platforms for advocacy, information, collaboration, networking, and recognition. These include HACU’s Capitol Forum (Washington, D.C.), the Annual Conference, and a bi-annual International Conference. In conjunction with the annual conference, the Latino Higher Education Leadership Institute is held as a pre-conference event to promote Latino leadership at higher education institutions.

Student Services

Paid Internships – The HACU National Internship Program (HNIP) recruits college students for paid summer- or semester-long internships and cooperative assignments at federal agencies and private corporations in Washington, D.C., and throughout the country. These ten- or fifteen-week assignments give college students hands-on experience in a variety of careers in the federal and corporate sectors. HNIP is HACU’s largest student program and has placed more than 9000 students since its beginnings in 1992. Internships are available during the spring, summer and fall academic sessions and offer students the opportunity to earn college credit for their internship.

Scholarships – The HACU Scholarship Program awards academic scholarships to students attending HACU member institutions to help defray college expenses. Scholarship applications are announced in spring and students submit an online application for awards in the fall semester.

Southwest Airlines “Lánzate-Dándole Alas a Tu Éxito/Giving Flight to Your Success” Travel Award Program – Through a competitive scholarship selection process, Southwest Airlines provides round trip tickets to students with socio-economic need who travel away from home to pursue a higher education.

HACU Annual Conference Student Track Program & Scholarships – The HACU Annual Conference Student Track provides an information-sharing forum for students and professionals to discuss topics addressing career and professional development, educational, leadership and cultural opportunities. Scholarship opportunities are offered to college students to participate in HACU’s Conference Student Track held during the fall semester. Additionally, students can participate in Student Track as a “Student Ambassador,” which encourages colleges and universities to sponsor students to attend the conference.

International Programs

The Office of International Affairs is responsible for promoting and facilitating international initiatives involving HACU-member institutions. It also oversees the Membership Department and K-12 Initiatives. As part of its central role in promoting the international dimension of the association, this office works closely with the membership department to increase and retain international members.

HACU works closely with international member institutions to respond to their interests, particularly as they relate to the establishment of international cooperation agreements with U.S. higher education institutions. HACU also provides study abroad opportunities for students through its agreements with study abroad providers.

HACU’s Annual Conferences continue to offer opportunities for national and international members to interact in order to explore mutually beneficial partnerships. As part of the Annual Conference program, an International Plenary Session is offered to participants, as well as workshops with international content and an international networking session. In 2021, HACU will hold its 14th International Conference in Salamanca, Spain from May 5-7.

HACU and the Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (IOHE) are collaborating on several projects, including an agreement on a joint student mobility program, which has allowed approximately 20 universities to participate in bilateral programs under a template agreement developed by HACU and IOHE.

HACU also has cooperative partnerships with the Organization of American States (OAS); the Government of Spain through the Ministry of Education and Science; Global Learning Semesters; the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS); IES Abroad; and the Governments of the States of Jalisco and Veracruz, Mexico. These agreements represent strategic alliances that will continue to expand opportunities for students and faculty from HACU-member institutions to participate in international programs. A discussion board and international opportunities page is available on HACU’s website to encourage international dialogue and promote international programs.


HACU-member institutions receive several publications on a regular basis including an electronic newsletter, The Voice of Hispanic Higher Education magazine, the annual HACU Membership Directory, and the HACU Annual Report. Individuals that attend HACU-member institutions can also subscribe to The Voice magazine at a discounted member rate. All HACU-member institutions are listed in HACU’s Annual Report and conference programs. Members are also offered the opportunity to be “Featured Institutions” on HACU’s website homepage.


Advertising opportunities are available at discounted rates for HACU-member institutions in The Voice magazine, online job postings, and HACU conference programs. Member addresses can be purchased at a discounted member rate using the HACU Merchandise Order form on HACU’s website.


HACU has started a series of informative webinars to provide members with up-to-date best practices on how to improve higher education for Hispanic students. Take a look at our first webinar here