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New Report Details Enrollment, Graduation Trends at Hispanic-Serving Institutions

New Report Details Enrollment, Graduation Trends at Hispanic-Serving Institutions

By Charles Dervarics


      Hispanic-serving institutions have realized significant gains, both in numbers and importance, as a growing Latino population increasingly seeks greater access to higher education, a new study says.

      Despite representing only 6 percent of all post-secondary institutions nationwide, Hispanic-serving institutions enroll nearly half of all Latino college students, says the report from Excelencia in Education. The number of HSIs — or colleges with Hispanic enrollment of at least 25 percent — also has increased to 236 from 131 a decade ago.

      “As the Latino population continues to grow, so will the number of Latino college-bound students,” said the report, “Inventing Hispanic-Serving Institutions: The Basics.” Release of the report earlier this month coincided with a Capitol Hill forum on the growth of HSIs that included U.S. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, D-Texas, education task force leader of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The report detailed enrollment and graduation trends at these institutions and the role they play in Latino education.

      “When we talk about Hispanic-serving institutions, we find that we still spend most of our time explaining what they are and how the federal program to support them works,” Hinojosa said.

   The new report examines long-term trends in the growth of HSIs and the Latino student population. For example, the study finds:

  • Most HSIs, or 67 percent, are public institutions and 26 percent are part of state or local public higher education systems.
  • Tuition at HSIs are significantly below the average in public higher education. Public four-year HSIs have an average tuition of $1,590 — less than half the tuition at other public colleges. Two-year HSIs also have tuitions that are lower than average.
  • HSIs have diverse student enrollments. While the typical HSI student body is half Latino, African-Americans account for 32 percent of students at New York colleges and 20 percent of students at Florida institutions.

   More HSIs also are gaining a foothold in new communities. For example, HSIs are growing in Kansas, Massachusetts and Washington, three states not traditionally known for their large Latino populations.

   But while more colleges nationwide qualify as HSIs, Latino education experts also want to see more attention given to development of graduate programs at these institutions.

   “We are looking to take Hispanic-serving institutions to the next level,” Hinojosa said. “Latino students remain underrepresented among college faculty and among students receiving advanced degrees, and this trend must change.”

   For more information about the report, contact: Excelencia in Education, (202) 778-8323, or visit

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