Hispanic Serving Institution

The U.S. Department of Education defines a HSI as a higher education institution with an enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic. The institution must also enroll more Pell Grant recipients than the median Pell Grant enrollment of its peers. The application to become a Hispanic Serving Institution evaluates data from two years prior, so CSN’s application data was based on the 2012-13 academic year.

Feb. 2, 2015 – College of Southern Nevada President Michael D. Richards announced today that the U.S. Department of Education accepted the college’s application to be eligible to apply for Title III and Title V funds this spring under the Higher Education Act.

CSN submitted its application to the U.S. Department of Education in December to be eligible to apply for grants and become the first federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in Nevada.

CSN applied for the designation Dec. 18 and fell short of the new percentage of low-income students (Pell eligible students) required, which increased 10 percentage points in this year’s application from 35 percent of the student body to 45 percent. CSN had 42 percent of students receiving Pell in 2012-13 and applied for a waiver. The waiver requires colleges to submit evidence that they serve low-income and underrepresented students and provide access to postsecondary education and programs to help them succeed. Community leaders and Nevada’s elected officials then wrote letters of support for CSN, its waiver application and the importance of this designation to Nevada.

In order to be eligible for grants under the HSI program, each college and university must meet the HEA’s definition of an Hispanic-serving institution and the conditions of eligibility. Title V grants are awarded for five years. In 2014, the maximum award was $525,000 per year. There were 29 HSIs that received an award out of more than 370 HSI institutions.

A Hispanic-Serving Institution ( HSI ) is defined as an institution of higher education that—
(A) is an eligible institution; and
(B) has an enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic students at the end of the award year immediately preceding the date of application.

For your information, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) publishes IPEDS data on institutions that serve large populations of Hispanic students. The list published by NCES is based on a wide range of data, including full-time enrollment figures, the number of degrees conferred, and the type of institutions, i.e., for-profit or non-profit, public or private, and four-year or two-year institutions of higher education. Some of the institutions on this list may qualify as Hispanic-Serving Institutions, provided that the institutions meet the eligibility requirements described above.

The Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (DHSI) Program provides grants to assist HSIs to expand educational opportunities for, and improve the attainment of, Hispanic students. These grants also enable HSIs to expand and enhance their academic offerings, program quality, and institutional stability.