What is HSI

History of HSIs 


Programs to serve Hispanic students began relatively recently with conversations and Congressional hearings on the Hill in the early 1980's to discuss Latino student access to higher education. The focus of these conversations was centered around HSIs receiving limited financial support for Hispanic students, Hispanic students lacking the fundamental tools necessary to access higher education, and low college completion rates. In 1992, the designation "Hispanic-Serving Institutions"was created through a Senate bill (S. 1160), introduced by Senator Claiborne Pell from Rhode Island, that became law under the Title III Strengthening Institutions Program in the Higher Education Act (HEA).

Title V

In 1995, the first appropriation for the HSI program under the HEA Title III Strengthening Institutions Program was created for $12 million and distributed to institutions of higher education (IHEs) that served Hispanic students. In 1998, HSIs became their own title (Title V) in the HEA, a program now known as the Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (DHSI) program. This Title was broken up into two parts, Part A, which consisted of the DHSI program, and Part B, what we know today as the Promoting Post-Baccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans (PPOHA) program.

STEM Emphasis Growth and Characteristics of HSIs

In 2010, almost 20 years since the creation of the original HSI programs, a new HSI grant program was created, the Title III, Part F, Hispanic-Serving Institutions Science, Technology, and Mathematics and Articulation Program (HSI-STEM). This program prepares Hispanic and low-income students for STEM careers and requires IHEs to develop model transfer and articulation agreements between two-year and four-year institutions in STEM fields.

 Growth and Characteristics of HSIs

According to the latest Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) data (2021-2022), HSIs enroll slightly more than 5.0 million students, of which 4,528,955 are undergraduates, and 474,042 are graduate students.  HSIs also enroll 31.2% of all Pell grant recipients.  Additionally, Hispanic students have earned almost 400,000 degrees (from associate degrees through doctorates) through their enrollment at HSIs.  The majority of HSIs are two-year public universities, followed by four-year public universities, four-year private universities, and two-year private universities.

HSIs Fast Facts: 2021-22 HSI Week 2023

  • 571 total HSIs in 30 states and locations
  • Represent 19% of all institutions
  • Enroll 62% of all Latino students
  • Net Change in (enrollment)
    • 2017-18: +16%
    • 2018-19: +30%
    • 2020-21: -10%
    • 2021-22: +12%
  • By sector:
    • Public, 2-year: 40%
    • Public, 4-year: 29%
    • Private, 2-year: 2%
    • Private, 4-year: 30%


Department of Education

“Hispanic-Serving Institutions Division - Home Page.” Home, US Department of Education (ED), 17 May 2023, www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/idues/hsidivision.html.

“Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program - Title V.” Home, US Department of Education (ED), 14 Apr. 2023, www2.ed.gov/programs/idueshsi/index.html?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=.

“Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans.” Home, US Department of Education (ED), 31 Mar. 2023, www2.ed.gov/programs/ppoha/index.html?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=.

“Hispanic-Serving Institutions - Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics and Articulation Programs.” Home, US Department of Education (ED), 31 Mar. 2023, www2.ed.gov/programs/hsistem/index.html?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=.

“Digest of Education Statistics, 2022.” National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Home Page, a Part of the U.S. Department of Education, nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d22/tables/dt22_312.40.asp?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=. Accessed 19 Sept. 2023.

HSI Week 2023


Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) Title V STEM Operation Success (SOS) celebrated Hispanic Serving Institution Week with a movie event on September 13, 2023. The showing of McFarland, USA, was well received by the students and community. This thought-provoking film provided insight into the lives of Hispanic agricultural laborers and their unheralded contributions to America.