More American colleges are now serving the Hispanic community. This is a growing trend and appears in some surprising states. According to an article in Inside Higher Ed:

In the 1980s, the designation Hispanic-serving institution (HSI) was created by the federal government to direct funding to nonprofit colleges where at least 25 percent of the full-time-equivalent students are Latino. On Thursday, Excelencia in Education, an advocacy group for Latino students, released a report identifying the growing number of institutions that do not meet the HSI enrollment threshold of 25 percent but that fit its definition of “emerging HSIs” – meaning that they “are within the critical mass range of 15-24 percent and have the potential to become HSIs in the next few years.”

The report found that the largest portion of emerging HSIs, 44 percent, were community colleges. Some 20 percent of emerging HSIs were public universities. With 15 percent Latino enrollment, the University of California at Los Angeles is an HIS, as is the University of Texas at Austin (with 17.2 percent Latino enrollment).

Twenty U.S. states contained emerging HSIs, some of them surprising. Arkansas, Kansas, and Utah were states with colleges that have the potential to become Hispanic-serving institutions in the next few years.

Some of the schools officially designated as emerging HSIs may actually already have 25 percent Latino enrollment but don’t count as HSIs already because students choose not to categorize themselves as Latino.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer