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Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs)

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

HBCUs include 91 four-year and 17 two-year institutions of higher education established prior to 1964, for the primary purpose of educating African-Americans. The majority of the 102 HBCUs are located in the Southeastern states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands. HBCUs comprise 3% of America's institutions of higher education, yet enroll 16% of all African-American students in higher education and award 24% of all baccalaureate degrees earned by African-Americans nationwide.

  • Executive Order 13532: Promoting Excellence, Innovation, and Sustainability at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

  • Memorandum of Understanding Between and the Department of the Interior: National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO)

  • Full list of HBCUs

  • Executive Order 13621: White House Initiative on Education Excellence for African Americans

    • White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Excellence for African Americans is structured to restore the United States to its role as the global leader in education; strengthen the Nation by improving educational outcomes for African Americans of all ages; and help ensure that African Americans receive a complete and competitive education that prepares them for college, a satisfying career, and productive citizenship.

Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs)

HSIs are accredited, post-secondary, higher educational institutions with at least 25% total full-time enrollment of Hispanic undergraduate students. HSIs included four-year and two-year, public and private educational institutions. HSIs enroll 40% of all Hispanic-American students of higher education. There are 274 institutions of higher education defined as HSIs using the criteria defined by the White House Initiative and the Department of Education. Visit the Department of Education's White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics page to learn more.

Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs)

The first TCU was created on a remote reservation community on the Navajo Nation. They now exist throughout Native Country. The 35 public and private higher educational institutions provide a response to the higher education needs of American Indians, and generally serve geographically-isolated populations that have no other means of accessing education beyond the high school level. TCUs have become increasingly important to educational opportunity for Native American students, an importance they have achieved in a relatively brief period of time.

  • Executive Order 13592 – Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Educational Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities

  • Memorandum of Understanding Between the Department of the Interior and The American Indian in Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC).

Asian American and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AAPISIs)

The AAPI community is one of the fastest growing populations in the U.S. Projections indicate that by 2050 this population will double in size. As a result, the education of AAPIs will be critical in achieving the educational goals of the US.

  • Executive Order 13515 – Increasing Participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Federal Programs

Additional Definitions
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the U.S. Department of Education maintains lists of postsecondary institutions of higher education enrolling populations with significant percentages of undergraduate minority students, or that serve certain populations of minority students under various programs created by Congress.