Report: The Amazing Growth of Latino-Serving Universities


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The number of Latino-serving colleges and universities has risen 85% of the past 10 years, from 264 in 2007 to 492 in 2017, according to a new report by Excelencia in Education.

A “Hispanic-Serving Institution” (HSI) has 25% or more undergraduate full-time equivalent Latino enrollment.

In 2016-17, the U.S. had 492 HSIs. That’s 15% of all colleges and universities.

Here are other key data:

hispanic-serving institution excelencia in education infographic college university

  • HSIs are present in 21 states and Puerto Rico.
  • HSIs are very concentrated geographically. 84% were located in 6 states and Puerto Rico. California has the most. Then follows Texas, Puerto Rico, New York, Florida, Illinois, and New Mexico. Most HSIs are urban (85%)
  • HSIs enroll 65% of all Latino undergraduates in higher education.
  • HSIs enroll 4.2M total undergraduates.
  • HSIs enroll 1.97M Latino undergraduates.
  • There are 333 Emerging HSIs with 15-24.9% Latino enrollment.

Choosing the right college does make a difference.

“Latinos make up 18% of the U.S. population but just 8.5% of students at selective institutions, the very places that have more resources to help students cross the finish line,” according to a report by the Education Trust. “Students who attend these colleges and universities are more likely to complete their degrees.”

This data is important given Latinos’ struggles in higher education.

Latino college students are far less likely than their white peers to complete their degree. They are more likely to still be enrolled beyond six years on their path to a degree.

Excelencia in Education keeps a “what works” database of programs that help Latinos.

They list Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training, led by Salud America! director Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez of UT Health San Antonio, as a program to watch. Éxito! recruits 25 Latino students annually for a culturally tailored curriculum to promote pursuit of a doctoral degree and cancer research career.

“Institutions of higher education have an opportunity to combine data, practice, and leadership to accelerate Latino student success,” according to Excelencia in Education. “They ensure that Latino students graduate college and become agents of change for their communities and for the nation.”

By The Numbers By The Numbers



of Latino parents support public funding for afterschool programs

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