Apr 4, 2023 - World

2022 saw a record number of Hispanic-serving colleges

In this photo illustration, the University of New Mexico logo seen displayed on a tablet.

Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.

The number of U.S. colleges and universities classified as federal Hispanic-serving Institutions (HSI) rose to its highest number ever last year, a new analysis has found.

Why it matters: The increase in HSIs shows that Hispanic college student enrollment has rebounded from the pandemic and now appears to be expanding.

Details: A study by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) released last week found that 571 two- and four-year schools reached HSI status in 2021-2022.

  • That's a 2% jump from the previous school year, when the number of HSIs fell for the first time in 10 years because of COVID-19.
  • Among the schools getting new HSI designations were Tunxis Community College in Farmington, Connecticut, and Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Background: Colleges and universities earn the HSI designation if 25% or more full-time undergraduate Hispanic students are enrolled, according to federal law.

  • The designation makes the school eligible for federal funds.

What they're saying: “It is encouraging to see the enrollment at Hispanic-Serving Institutions return to numbers prior to the pandemic,” HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores said in a statement.

  • He added that HSIs and Hispanic students were not prepared for the pandemic and that resulted in an enrollment drop.

The intrigue: Nearly two-thirds of all Hispanic undergraduate students were enrolled in HSIs in the U.S. last year, the report said.

  • A majority of HSIs are in urban areas and 80% of these institutions are located in six states and one territory: California (170), Florida (32), Illinois (31), New Mexico (24), New York (37), Texas (102) and Puerto Rico (59).

What to watch: Hispanic college enrollment is expected to exceed 4 million students by 2026, surpassing the growth rate of any other racial-ethnic group by over 10%, the HACU predicts.

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