Increased Enrollment led to Increased Number of Hispanic-Serving Institutions in the U.S.


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There is an undeniable link between education and health. In fact, educational attainment is one of the key social determinants of health.

Lack of access and opportunity are often some of the barriers that keep many Latinos from furthering their education beyond high school.

However, the numbers from several studies have pointed to the fact that Latinos are making some headway into earning more degrees from two- and four-year universities.

One study from Excelencia in Education correlates the rise in Latino enrollment with the growing number of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) in the U.S. HSIs are defined by federal law as “accredited and degree-granting public or private nonprofit institutions of higher education” that have 25% or more total undergraduate Hispanic enrollment.

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According to a report from Excelencia in Education, there were 472 HSIs in 2015-16 which accounted for 14% of all institutions of higher learning in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. This number is up by 37 from the 2014-15 academic year.

These HSIs were found in 19 states and Puerto Rico; however, 81% were located in five heavily-Latino populated states in particular: California, Texas, New York, Florida, and New Mexico.

Almost half of students enrolled at HSIs (46%) were Latino and 64% of Latino students are enrolled at HSIs. HSIs represent 14% of all public or not-for-profit degree-granting institutions.

Of the 472 HSIs, 189 offered graduate degrees in 2015-16 (108 offered doctoral degrees) with the largest number of HSIs with graduate programs being located in California (53), Puerto Rico (38) and Texas (34).

Read more about these findings here.

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