Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) are defined in Title V of the Higher Education Act as not-for-profit institutions of higher learning with a full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate student enrollment that is at least 25 percent Hispanic. The federal definition can be found here: www2.ed.gov/print/programs/idueshsi/definition.html.
HACU maintains two lists of HSIs based on differing definitions for differing uses, either advocacy or membership.
1. For HACU's advocacy and research purposes, the "List of HSIs" follows the criteria set forth in Title V of the Higher Education Act.
2. For HACU’s membership purposes, HSIs are defined as colleges, universities, or systems/districts where total Hispanic enrollment constitutes a minimum of 25% of the total headcount enrollment.
Listing as an HSI by HACU, on either list, 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 website for additional information. In particular, visit the Title V Program Statute for legislation about Title V.