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Hispanic-Serving Institution Definitions

For HACU’s membership purposes, Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) are defined as colleges, universities, or systems/districts where total Hispanic enrollment constitutes a minimum of 25% of the total enrollment.  “Total Enrollment” includes full-time and part-time students at the undergraduate or graduate level (including professional schools) of the institution, or both (i.e., headcount of for-credit students).  Member enrollment statistics are self reported by the institution for the fall semester of the year prior to the membership year.  For example, year 2009 members provide Fall 2008 enrollment statistics.  HACU’s HSI member institutions are listed on HACU’s Web site.

HACU is sometimes asked for an official list of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).  Unfortunately, no such list is produced by the Department of Education or the Federal government.  However, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Education has published a list of Postsecondary Minority Institutions at:, where you can also find a link to a list of "High Hispanic Enrollment" institutions at

Listing as an HSI by HACU does not “certify” an institution as an HSI for Title V or other Federal grant purposes.  Title V eligibility (i.e., meeting the Federal definition of an HSI) is determined by the U.S. Department of Education as the first step in the application process for a Title V grant.  Specifically, if your college or university has (1) a full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment of undergraduate students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic students and (2) not less than 50 percent of all students are eligible for need-based Title IV aid, it should be an “eligible institution” for Title V.

Eligibility designation qualifies an institution of higher education to receive grants under the Title V and Title III, Part A, Programs, provided certain other program-specific eligibility requirements are met.  Title V authorizes the Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program.  Title III, Part A, authorizes the Strengthening Institutions, American Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities, and Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions Programs. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Institutional Development and Undergraduate Education Service administers both programs.  Visit their Web site for additional information.  In particular, visit the Title V Program Statute for legislation about Title V.