Butler Joins Congressional Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Caucus

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.) announced she is joining the Congressional Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Caucus.

“I represent the state with the highest number of HSIs in the country and I understand the critical role these institutions play in broadening educational opportunities for millions of Hispanic students,” said Senator Butler. “Despite growing Latinx enrollment in higher education, our schools don’t have the resources to support these students, and I am committed to changing that.”

“HACU is thrilled to welcome Senator Butler to the Senate HSI Caucus,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. “Through our collaborative efforts, this Caucus is set to bolster funding support in the Senate for the 572 HSIs nationwide, including the 170 HSIs in the great state of California.”

Despite a significant growth in the number of HSIs, the increased number of low-income and first-generation students in those institutions, federal investments in HSIs have stagnated over the past decade. Hispanic communities make up the country’s largest minority groups, and the HSI Caucus provides a valuable platform for Members of Congress to develop additional resources and legislative opportunities for HSIs. By joining the HSI Caucus, Senator Butler is focused on raising awareness of HSI’s value among Members of Congress and their staff, increasing federal investments and continuing the work of fostering long-term relationships between HSIs and Congressional offices.

HSIs play a pivotal role in higher education within Hispanic communities. They represent 572 colleges and universities in the United States that altogether enroll over 5 million Hispanic students and more than 30 percent of all undergraduate students. According to the most recent data, California has the most HSIs at 170. HSIs represent almost 50% of all institutions in California, they enroll almost 90% of Latino undergraduates, and they enroll almost 80% of all current undergraduates in California, highlighting their critical role in building networks and community for Californians.

In 1995, HSIs were granted federal resources for the first time and since then federal funding has increased because of continued advocacy and relationship building with congressional offices. In 2020, for example, $143.08 million was appropriated for the HSI undergraduate program under Title V Part A of the Higher Education Act. HSIs are accredited, degree-granting, public or private nonprofit institutions of higher education with 25% or higher total undergraduate Hispanic or Latino full-time students. Of all degrees (certificates, associate’s, and bachelor’s) earned by Latinos, almost 80% of all degrees are earned at HSIs. In addition, Hispanic share of the labor force is projected to reach 35.9 million in 2030, accounting for 78% of the net new workers between 2020 and 2030. Hispanic enrollment in higher education is also expected to exceed 4.0 million students by 2026, far surpassing the growth rate of any other racial-ethnic group by over 10%. This underscores the pivotal role HSIs play in shaping the education and work force of the next generation of leaders in industry, government, and academia and why steadfast support of these colleges and universities is indispensable.


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