How can we support Latino student success? Guarantee funding to HSIs.

What are HSIs and what federal grants are currently available to them?

HSIs are defined in federal law as accredited and degree-granting public or private nonprofit institutions of higher education with 25 percent or more total undergraduate Hispanic full-time equivalent (FTE) student enrollment. If an institution meets the enrollment definition of an HSI, and has a high enrollment of needy students and low core expenses, then an institution is designated eligible to apply for grant funding under Title V.

How would a non-competitive grant be set up?

Congress could set up a new grant that provides funding to all HSIs that are designated eligible for Title V, regardless if they have applied for a Title V grant or not. For example, 10% of funding appropriated to Title V could be set aside to provide a grant to every Title V eligible HSI. Based on FY2019, about $12.9 million would be set aside for non-competitive grants.

Why would guaranteed funding help HSIs?

Every year, the number of HSIs grows and outpaces the amount of funding available. This makes receiving Title V funds even more competitive.

  • Federal funding for HSIs was created as a way to support under-resourced institutions enrolling Latino students with high need. HSIs are predominately public institutions, and previously the majority were two-year institutions. Over time, however, HSIs have become more likely to be public four-year institutions. These HSIs tend to have more resources and are readily able to compete for grants compared to two-year HSIs.
  • To receive a Title V grant, HSIs have to go through a two-step process: after applying to be designated eligible for Title V, they then have to apply for this competitive grant. Because it’s competitive, there’s no guarantee they’ll receive it. It’s inequitable to ask them to then apply for competitive grants for a program for which these institutions have already been deemed eligible.


Guaranteed funding to designated eligible HSIs would show a meaningful commitment to those institutions enrolling Latino students. As the number of HSIs continues to grow, we must ensure the original intent of the Title V program is met and ultimately supports Latino student success. Supporting Latino students during these times is important. Guaranteeing funding for the institutions enrolling these students provides an opportunity for policymakers to help support Latino student success and help meet the national degree attainment goals to support the country.



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Excelencia in Education

Excelencia in Education


Excelencia informs, leads, & accelerates Latino student success in higher education through research, evidence-based practices, and leadership.