Latinos may be heading to college in record numbers, but many are choosing to attend a small number of universities with large Hispanic populations.
According to a study released by Excelencia in Education, six in 10 Latino college students attended Hispanic-Service Institutions (HSIs) during the 2014-2015 school year.
In order for a university to qualify as an HSI, at least 25 percent of their student body must be Latino. About 435 schools in the United States (13% of total institutions) fall into that category, and when you include "emerging HSIs" — colleges with 15-24 percent Latino enrollment rates — another 310 schools qualify. Of these institutions, about 70 percent are public or open access universities.
The 10 HSIs with the largest Latino student populations also enroll nine percent of Hispanic students nationwide, and all 10 of these schools are located in states with large Latino populations: Florida, Texas and California. The study also found — unsurprisingly — that HSIs tend to be geographically concentrated. In fact, 82% of HSIs were located in Florida, Texas, California, Puerto Rico or New York.
The number of Latinos enrolled in institutions of higher education continues to increase, and the number of HSIs also continue to grow. However, retention and graduation rates continue to be problematic for the community; according to a report released in 2014, 20% of Latino adults ages 25 and older had earned an associate degree or higher, compared to 35% of all adults. Additionally, just 41% of Latino students graduate within 150% of program time, compared to 50% of all students.