Hispanic Serving Institute Initiative

What is “HSI”?

The term “Hispanic-Serving Institution” (HSI) is a federal designation defined by the Higher Education Act. It requires that institutions be 2- or 4-year accredited colleges, enroll a significant proportion of low-income students, and have 25% of their full-time undergraduate student body be Hispanic. Once an institution achieves HSI status, they are eligible to apply for federal Title III and V funds.

There are more than 500 HSI-eligible institutions in the U.S., but only 12 are also a Tier One Research institution. While they comprise only a small percentage of all institutions of higher education, HSIs enroll about 2/3 of all Hispanic undergraduates in the country. At UNT, 25.7% of the student’s population is Latinx, comprising the largest group of diverse students, followed by 14% African-American, followed by 7% Asian-Pacific Islander and 4% Native America. Of the Hispanic population, 37% of the is Pell eligible, a key requirement to become an HSI-eligible institution.

Why is the HSI designation important to UNT?

As a caring and creative community that prepares students for careers in a rapidly changing world, UNT is committed to serving underrepresented and underserved communities. As a university located in the increasingly diverse region of North Texas, we believe its critically important to expand its resources to serve as a welcoming institution for everyone, and especially for this targeted population who is become a larger part of our student body.

What benefits come with becoming an HSI and diversifying our campus in other ways?

One of UNT’s on-going goals is creating an equitable, diverse and inclusive campus community. Our work to achieve this goal has not gone unnoticed, For the second year in a row, Insight Into Diversity magazine recognized the University of North Texas with the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award.

Achieving our goal of being HSI eligible in the Spring of 2020, means that we are eligible to apply for Title III and VI federal funds to support student success, research and outreach. Although increased federal funding is not the reason, we decided to pursue this goal, these funds are aligned with our efforts to provide additional support and expanded resources to our students, as well as, fuel additional research that helps distinguish this university as one of the best in the country.

Why are we focusing on HSI now?

There are some fundamental changes in the nation’s demography that is creating a perfect opportunity for us to focus on becoming an HSI now.  According to The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, the overall high school student graduates will remain stable of the next decade, but there will be significant increases in the number of Hispanic (by 50%) and Asian/Pacific Islander (by 30%) students.

As you can tell from our Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity Annual Report, UNT is experiencing continued growth in diverse student enrollments, which is a trend we anticipate continuing to see over the next 30 years.

Do UNT’s efforts to recruit Hispanic students come at the expense of recruiting students from other backgrounds?

No. UNT is equally committed to recruiting students from all backgrounds, and has also stated a goal of increasing student enrollment and retention of all of our students. We hope that some of the recruitment and retention strategies we employ for Hispanic/Latinx students will help us yield and support more students from other underrepresented groups as well.

How does UNT support our Hispanic students?

UNT already has committed to a wide range of programs within the university and within the community to create a caring and welcoming environment for these.

Here’s a selected list of some of the programs:

  • Pre-College Programs
    • McNair Scholars: A program to prepare juniors and seniors from low income, first generation and/or underrepresented to pursue doctoral degrees.
    • Trio-Talent Search Mission:  A series of enrichment programs designed to get more Cooke County, Denton County, Hurst, Euless and Bedford students to enroll at UNT.
  • New and Current students
    • E-Start: This is a 5-week summer residential program that offers newly admitted first year STEM students an opportunity to earn up to six (6) hours of graded credit before the Fall semester begins.
  • Campus and Community Activities and Associations
    Full list of Campus and Community Activities and Associations
    • Association of Latino Professionals For America
    • Folklórico de North Texas
    • Hispanic Student Association
    • Latin Dreams
    • Mueve
    • National Association of Hispanic Journalists
    • National Association of Hispanic Professional Engineers
    • Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Sciences (UNT SACNAS)
    • UNeTe, (Latin faculty/staff alliance)
  • Fraternities/Sororities
    • Omega Delta Phi Fraternity, Inc. (ODPhi)
    • Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. (LTA
    • Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc. (KDChi)
    • Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc. (Gammas)

Go to UNT’s Division of Institutional Equity and Diversity to learn more about our other initiatives.