Excelencia Policy Agenda - Institutional Practices

Excelencia’s Policy Agenda: Institutional Capacity

Excelencia in Education
May 2024


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Institutions enrolling Latino students are critical to Excelencia in Education’s mission of accelerating Latino student success, including Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). HSIs disproportionately educate the majority of Latino students across the nation–while only 20 percent of higher education institutions are HSIs, they enroll 63 percent of all Latino undergraduates. Institutions, including HSIs, serving students with the highest financial need are often some of the most under-resourced. The recent economic recession has made clearer the gaps that exist for Latino students and the institutions that enroll them. Policymakers should focus on addressing gaps in degree completion by strengthening the capacity of institutions to improve Latino students’ access to, and completion of, a quality postsecondary credential.


What can be done to support institutions’ capacity-building efforts?

HSIs enroll the majority of Latino students, yet are generally low-resourced and underfunded. The following recommendations would improve these institutions’ capacity to serve Latino students:

  • Count every student instead of using full-time equivalent (FTE) to determine eligibility for funding, and significantly increase financial support to institutions serving high numbers of students with financial need.
  • Provide guaranteed funding to all HSIs who meet the eligibility requirements for Title V grants.
  • Refocus and limit the allowable activities for Title III and V grants to better align with Latino student success.
  • Improve information about federal investment in HSIs by increasing transparency around grant outcomes.


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