DataPoints: Number of HSIs drops


For the first time in 20 years, the number of Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) in the U.S. has decreased. It dropped by 10 institutions, from 569 in 2019-20 to 559 in 2020-21, according to analysis by Excelencia in Education. The decrease is due, in part, to enrollment declines, institutional closings and consolidation during the pandemic, the advocacy group said.

HSIs are defined in federal legislation as having 25% or more undergraduate Hispanic student full-time equivalent enrollment.

There was, however, significant growth among Emerging HSIs (eHSIs) — colleges approaching the 25% Latino student enrollment threshold — increasing by 31 institutions, from 362 to 393 over the same period.

HSIs represent less than 20% of institutions but enroll two-thirds of all Latino undergraduates, according to Excelencia. Overall, almost 60% of HSIs are four-year institutions (public: 28%; private: 31%), and more than 40% (226 institutions) are two-year institutions (public: 40%; private: 1%). Among eHSIs, 70% are four-year institutions (private: 45%; public: 25%), and 30% are two-year institutions (public: 27%; private: 3%).

The analysis is based on the most recent public data available from the U.S. Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics for academic year 2020-21 – the first full academic year into the Covid pandemic.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
Matthew Dembicki edits Community College Daily and serves as associate vice president of communications for the American Association of Community Colleges.