UCLA aims to become federally designated as Hispanic-Serving Institution by 2025
UCLA plans to expand its enrolled Latino population to be federally designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. (David Rimer/Daily Bruin staff)
By Genesis Qu
Dec. 8, 2020 5:36 p.m.
UCLA plans to expand its Latino student population to a quarter of its enrolled student population in five years to qualify for additional federal grants, university administrators said in a campus-wide email Monday.
The university plans to become federally designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by 2025, which would make it eligible for various federal funds, Chancellor Gene Block and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Emily Carter saidin the email. The university has created a task force with faculty and administrators to reach and maintain HSI status, they added.
The Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program, administered by the Department of Education, gives federal grants to eligible HSIs to expand educational opportunities for Hispanic students. The DOE considers a university as HSI if a quarter of its undergraduate students identify as Latino. HSIs qualify for federal funding if at least half of their Latino students are lower income, if they distribute a certain amount of federal financial aid and if they satisfy other requirements.
Twenty-three percent of domestic undergraduate students at UCLA were Latino in fall 2020-2021, said UCLA spokesperson Bill Kisliuk in an emailed statement. In fall 2020, Latino students made up of 36% of UC’s in-state freshmen admissions, surpassing Asian students as the largest in-state freshmen group for the first time.
According to DOE data, UCLA currently does not meet the minority criteria needed to receive HSI grants. UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara and UC Santa Cruz currently receive grants from the program. UC Merced is eligible to apply for the grant and UC Riverside could be eligible if it receives a waiver for some of the DOE’s criteria.
UCLA will build a stronger pipeline with high schools and community colleges that serve large Latino populations, the email stated. It added that the school will also strengthen campus support infrastructure for Latino students.
Becoming an HSI could help the university increase academic performance, attendance and graduation rates of students of color, said Block and Carter in the email.
“One million Latinx young people will turn 18 this year and every year for the next two decades in the United States,” Block and Carter said. “These students are important to our nation’s future, and we must ensure they are positioned to succeed and to lead.”