About HSI

banner image

For information on the HSI Task Force appointed by Chancellor May, click here.

To Contact Us, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does HSI mean?
  • The U.S. Department of Education defines Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) as an institution of higher education that has an enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic students. Obtaining the HSI designation allows institutions to compete for federal grants to support initiatives that enhance student success. 

    Of the 472 institutions that met HSI criteria in 2015-2016: Fewer than 6% are Research Universities: 9 are R1, 8 are R2, 13 are R3; 34% (n. 159) are in California, more than any other state (CA also has 56 emerging HSIs). UC Riverside, UC Merced, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Santa Barbara are current HSIs. UC Davis has achieved enrollment thresholds. UCLA and UC San Diego are Emerging HSIs. UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley are the only two UCs who are not yet emerging HSIs
  • What is the state trend of enrollment? How does this relate to overall state demographics?
  • Forecasters at the Pew Research Center predicts that by 2050, the largest proportion of the population in the U.S. will be non-white. According to the U.S. Census, 51.8% of children under 18 in California are of Hispanic or Latino origin. For all UC campuses, Chicanos/Latinos are now the largest ethnic group among California Community College transfer applicants and remained the largest among California freshman applicants.

    “California leads the nation with 34% percent of HSIs and 25% of emerging HSIs located in the state…In fact, 48% of all public postsecondary institutions in California are HSIs and these colleges and universities enroll 60% of all Latina/o undergraduates in the state.”[1]
  • What is the enrollment trend at UC?
  • “In the past decade, Chicana/o and Latina/o enrollment at the University of California (UC) has grown about two-thirds and is now 24% of its population.”[2]

    “Among the Chicana/o and Latina/o students enrolled as first-time degree seekers in fall 2017, 52.0% are Pell recipients, 73.6% are first-generation, and 65.3% female. From this enrolled group, 78.0% of Chicana/o and Latina/o population identify as Mexican-American/Mexican/Chicano ethnic origin and with 22% identifying as Latino/Others Spanish ethnic origin.”[3]
  • How does this trend compare to other racial groups?
  • What is the national trend of Hispanic student enrollment?
  • What does the “x” in Chicanx/Latinx mean?
  • The purpose of using “x” in “Chicanx/Latinx” is to allow for the Chicano, Chicana, Latino, Latina community to be gender expansive, meaning it includes all those who identify and don’t identify within the gender spectrum.
  • What are the benefits to the student body of an HSI designation?
  • Are there any costs associated with an HSI designation?
  • What additional resources will be available for students who come from first generation or low-income circumstances?
  • How does a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) differ from a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI)?



[1] UCHSI, “White paper,” 2.

[2] UCHSI, “White paper,” 9.

[3] UCHSI, “White paper,” 10.