Press Release

National Authority on Latinos in Higher Education Unveils Updated Information about Hispanic-Serving Institutions
Excelencia in Education’s Newest Data Shows Increasing Number of Institutions Becoming Hispanic-Serving Institutions


WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 6, 2021) – For the 16th year in a row, Excelencia in Education, the leading authority on accelerating Latino student success in higher education, has conducted its annual analysis to provide insight on Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Emerging HSIs (eHSIs), and HSIs with graduate programs.

Even in these challenging times, Excelencia remains committed to lead and inform the field by sharing its research to the public to highlight the opportunities in serving Latino students and supporting those institutions intentionally serving them.

Excelencia’s analysis, based on the most recent federal data available from 2019-2020, shows growth in the numbers of HSIs and Emerging HSIs, more HSIs offering graduate-level programs, and increased enrollment by Latinos in regions not normally known for Hispanic enrollment. Given the data timeframe, these figures were recorded before the effects of the pandemic.

On April 21, 2021 at 1 p.m. EDT, Excelencia will host a National Briefing on 25 Years of HSIs. The virtual webinar, presented in cooperation with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, will provide a detailed review of the historical impact of HSIs over the last quarter century and feature conversations with national leaders about the importance of serving Latino students. Register for the free Excelencia’s National Briefing here:

“As more and more institutions meet the HSI enrollment threshold each year, we must raise the standards and expectations of what it really means to intentionally SERVE Latino students,” said Deborah Santiago, Excelencia CEO and a national expert on HSIs. “The higher education community has been talking about transforming for years and the pandemic proved change is possible when it is necessary. Educating Latino students is now a necessity. More has to be done to achieve the institutional transformation that intentionally serves Latinos, who are the country’s largest and youngest ethnic demographic and the key to our future workforce and civic leaders.”

Excelencia’s analysis revealed interesting insights to inform policy and practice:

  • Less than 20% of colleges and universities enroll over two-thirds of all Latinos in higher education. In 2019-20, 569 institutions (18%) enrolled 67% of all Hispanic students.
  • The number of HSIs continues to grow. Over the last 10 years, the number of HSIs has grown 94% (from 293 to 569).
  • HSIs are geographically concentrated. HSIs are located in 30 states, the District of Columbia (DC) and Puerto Rico. While more than half are concentrated in a few states, California (175), Texas (100), Puerto Rico (64), and New York (35), HSIs now also exist in regions not generally known for Hispanic populations, such as Arkansas, DC, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Utah.
  • The majority of HSIs are located in cities or suburbs. Over 84% of HSIs are either in the city (305) or suburbs (171) while 16% are in towns (53) or rural areas (40).
  • The majority of HSIs are 4-year and public colleges and universities. Over half of HSIs (56%) are 4-year institutions, and 67% are public.

For more detailed analysis and access to download this data for free, visit

NOTE: Federal law defines an HSI as an accredited, degree-granting public or private not-for-profit institution of higher education with 25 percent or more total undergraduate Hispanic full-time equivalent student (FTE) enrollment.[1] To create this list, Excelencia uses the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which is maintained by the U.S. Department of Education with the most recent data as of March 2021.


About Excelencia in Education
Excelencia in Education accelerates Latino student success in higher education by promoting Latino student achievement, conducting analysis to inform educational policies, and advancing institutional practices while collaborating with those committed and ready to meet the mission. Launched in 2004 in the nation’s capital, Excelencia has established a network of results-oriented educators and policymakers to address the U.S. economy’s needs for a highly educated workforce and engaged civic leaders. For more information, visit:


[1] Summary of Title V of the Higher Education Act, as amended in 2008. To be eligible for the “Developing HSIs Program”, the law further requires an HSI have a high enrollment of needy students and low core expenditures.

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