Black + Brown: Institutions of Higher Education

Black + Brown: Institutions of Higher Education

Excelencia in Education
United Negro College Fund
September 2014


Seeing the critical national importance of examining the profile of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) alongside historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Excelencia in Education, in partnership with the United Negro College Fund - Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute, released new analysis to bring intentional focus to strengthening minority student success.

While HBCUs and HSIs only represent 20 percent of all institutions in the nation, these institutions educate nearly half of all Black and Latino students, many of whom are low-income and first-generation college attendees. Given the population growth of these students overall, both HSIs and HBCUs are in a distinct position to help move the country’s college completion agenda forward. Therefore, showing the commonalities between these two groups of institutions can be beneficial in raising policy awareness about Latino and Black students and the institutions serving them.

The following summarizes key points of comparison between HSIs and HBCUs:

  • HBCUs are defined as any historically Black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of Black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association.
  • HSIs are defined as accredited and degree-granting public or private nonprofit institutions of higher education with 25% or more total undergraduate Hispanic full-time equivalent student enrollment.
  • 60% of undergraduate students at HSIs and HBCUs are Hispanic or Black.
  • In 2012-2013, half of HBCUs (50%) and most HSIs (68%) were public institutions.
  • HBCU-enrolled Black students and HSI-enrolled Hispanic students are more likely to be women than men (60% female vs. 39% male for HBCU-enrolled Black students and 58% female vs. 40% male for HSI-enrolled Hispanic students).
  • In 2012, 92% of HBCUs were located in the southern United States, with 76% in the southeast, with Alabama (15), North Carolina (10), Georgia and Texas (9) leading the rest of the nation.
  • In 2012-2013, 73% of students enrolled at HBCUs were recipients of Pell Grant, compared with a national average of 42%.
  • In 2012-2013, 85% of HSIs were located in five states and Puerto Rico, with California having the most HSIs (127). There are 370 HSIs located in 15 states and Puerto Rico overall.
  • In 2012-2013, there were 277 emerging HSIs, defined as institutions with 15-24% undergraduate full-time Hispanic enrollment.

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