National Science Foundation HSI Funding

HACU's Position on NSF Funding

HACU urges Congress to direct the National Science Foundation (NSF) to allocate $165 million for the HSI-NSF competitive grants program. This funding will support Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) in enhancing their research capabilities, curriculum, and infrastructure, which are essential for advancing STEM education among Hispanic and other underrepresented student groups.

Importance of STEM Education at HSIs
A workforce trained in STEM is crucial for the nation’s economic strength, social stability, and security. As Hispanics are the fastest-growing group in the U.S. labor force—projected to account for 78% of the net new workers from 2020 to 2030—it is essential to increase their representation in STEM fields. Despite Hispanics making up 19.1% of the population, they received only 9% of the doctoral degrees in critical STEM fields in recent years. Addressing this disparity is vital for maximizing national competitiveness and security.

Role of HSIs in STEM
HSIs are uniquely positioned to address the gap in STEM fields among Hispanic and other underrepresented groups. With a deep understanding of their students’ needs, HSIs are equipped to develop targeted programs that attract and retain these students in STEM disciplines. Funding these institutions is crucial for leveraging their potential to enhance the nation's STEM workforce.

The CHIPS and Science Act and Its Implications for HSIs
Signed by President Biden in August 2022, the $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act aims to boost federal science and technology research and development, with $80 billion earmarked for the NSF through Fiscal Year 2027. This legislation presents a significant opportunity for HSIs to contribute to STEM teaching, learning, and research, preparing a new generation of STEM professionals.

Equitable Investment in MSIs
Under Subtitle C of the CHIPS and Science Act, which authorizes NSF to create five MSI Centers of Innovation, HACU recommends that NSF invest equitably across all MSI cohorts (HBCUs, TCUs, and HSIs). These centers will serve as incubators for higher education institutions to test and expand promising practices. HACU advocates for the fair selection of these Centers of Innovation, ensuring they proportionally represent the number of institutions in each MSI cohort.

HACU emphasizes the importance of equitable NSF funding to empower HSIs, enabling them to fulfill their critical role in diversifying and strengthening the STEM workforce. This strategic investment is not only an investment in HSIs but in the future of the nation’s innovation and competitiveness.


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