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HSIs are less likely to have an endowment, Excelencia in Education finds

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Noviembre 05, 2023

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Endowments — money that come from charitable donations to support institutions — are important resources that provide colleges and universities with opportunities to invest in students and programs. 

Even though Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) enroll more than half of the Latino undergraduate students in the United States, they are less likely to have an endowment compared to other colleges and universities, as stated by an Excelencia in Education study. Considering that endowments are vital to the services offered by institutions, it impacts HSIs’ capacity to invest in their Latino students and educational quality. 

For HSIs that do have an endowment, their funds tend to be smaller per undergraduate full-time-equivalent student (FTE), on average, than those at other institutions. Affecting the students, the study found that: 

  • HSIs award fewer dollars in institutional aid on average to full-time, first-time undergraduates: $1,948 at HSIs compared to $5,257 at other institutions;
  • The median endowment per undergraduate FTE student at HSIs is a little over $5,000 compared to almost $16,000 at all other institutions; 

To reach these conclusions, Excelencia analyzed over 3,000 higher education institutions. Of those, 571 are HSIs and 401 are Emerging HSIs (eHSIs). The 571 HSIs in 2021–22 represent a small segment of higher education (19% of colleges and universities), yet enroll the majority of Latino undergraduates (62%).

Other findings include the fact that HSIs located in Puerto Rico are even less likely to have an endowment — in fact, more than half of the HSIs in Puerto Rico have no endowment. Around 30% of HSIs, and over 60% of Puerto Rican HSIs, have no endowment compared to 17% of all other institutions.

Excelencia aims to highlight the urgent need for greater investment in HSIs to ensure that all students have access to opportunities. Steps that can be taken to achieve this goal include: 

  • Increase federal funding for HSIs and support for capacity building;
  • Provide targeted grants and scholarships for Latino students; 
  • Promote partnerships between HSIs and the private sector; 

To learn more about the study, click here

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