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A Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) is a federal designation by the U.S. Department of Education that acknowledges colleges and universities with 25% or more total undergraduate Hispanic full-time equivalent student enrollment. Eligibility must be met annually, and is monitored by UCF’s HSI Unit within the Ginsburg Center for Inclusion and Community Engagement.

No additional financial resources are automatically provided to institutions as a result of the federal designation, rather, HSIs are eligible to competitively vie for federal and foundation grants aimed at supporting HSIs.

Currently, there are 559 HSIs across the U.S., including 29 institutions in Florida.

A Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) is a type of Minority Serving Institution (MSI). Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) are institutions of higher education that serve high concentrations of minority students who, historically, have been underrepresented in higher education. MSIs tend to have relatively low educational and general expenditures and high enrollments of needy students.

Minority Serving Institutions include, but are not limited to:

  • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions
  • Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions
  • Hispanic-Serving Institutions
  • Historically Black Colleges & Universities
  • Native American Serving Nontribal Institutions
  • Predominantly Black Institutions
  • Tribal Colleges

A Minority Institution (MI) is defined as an institution of higher education whose enrollment of a single ethnic minority or a combination of ethnic minorities exceeds 50 percent of the total enrollment. Per § 365(3) of the HEA (3) (20 U.S.C. § 1067k(3)). “Minority” is defined as: American Indian, Alaska Native, Black, Hispanic and Pacific Islander.

As of fall 2022, UCF’s minority student population stands at 38.3% – Thus, UCF is not yet considered a Minority Institution.

UCF HSI Facts UCF HSI Principles List of Minority Serving Institutions

U.S. Department of Education Funding

Funding Opportunities

The Hispanic-Serving Institutions Division of the Department of Education manages three grant programs:

  1. Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (DHSI) – Title V, Part A
  2. Promoting Post-baccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans (PPOHA) – Title V, Part B
  3. Hispanic-Serving Institutions Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics and Articulation (HSI STEM) – Title III, Part F

The Department of Education published their list of eligible institutions on December 16, 2021 – UCF is listed as an eligible institution for FY 2022.

Funding Eligibility

Eligibility for the Developing HSIs program has three main components that institutions must meet in order to compete for federal funds:

  1. Enroll a high concentration of Latino undergraduate students
  2. Enroll a high concentration of needy (low-income) students
  3. Have low educational and general expenditures (core expenses)

Additional Funding Opportunities

Funding for MSIs is channeled through numerous federal agencies, and several of these funding sources are available to MSIs through grant programs authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA; P.L. 89-329).

UCF’s HSI Unit in the Ginsburg Center for Inclusion and Community Engagement partners with UCF’s Office of Research and UCF Libraries to help faculty and staff identify HSI/MSI federal funding opportunities and develop competitive proposals.

See Federal Opportunities for Minority Serving Institutions here.

UCF Office of Research

UCF’s Office of Research will help identify funding opportunities available by federal agencies.

Sign up for Targeted Research Alerts

HSI Funder Tool Kit

Research Lifecycle