Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs)
Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) are comprised of colleges and universities in the U.S. that serve large populations of minority students. While each MSI has a unique history and purpose, all MSIs share a common commitment to educate underrepresented minorities in higher education and to the academic success of students of color.
Some MSIs are located in remote areas of the country while others can be found in urban neighborhoods and cities. Many of these institutions were created to provide postsecondary educational opportunities to students who previously were denied access to a quality education
MSIs receive federal designation by the U.S. Department of Education and include Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs).
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) include 89 four-year, and 16 two-year, institutions of higher education established prior to 1964, for the primary purpose of educating African-Americans. The majority of the 105 HBCUs are located in the Southeastern states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands. HBCUs comprise 3 percent of America's institutions of higher education, yet enroll 16 percent of all African-American students in higher education and award 24 percent of all baccalaureate degrees earned by African-Americans nationwide (Source: U.S. Department of Energy)
The National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher education (NAFEO) is an organization of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs). Founded in 1969, NAFEO represents the presidents and chancellors of diverse black colleges and universities. NAFEO serves as international voice and advocate for preservation and enhancement of HBCUs and PBIs and for blacks in higher education.
Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs)
Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) are accredited, post-secondary higher educational institution with at least 25 percent total full-time enrollment of Hispanic undergraduate student pursuing terminal degrees. HSIs included four-year and two-year, public and private educational institutions. HSIs enroll 40 percent of all Hispanic-American students of higher education. There are 195 institutions of higher education defined as HSIs using the criteria defined by the White House Initiative and the Department of Education. (Source: U.S. Department of Energy)
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) represents nearly 450 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain and Portugal. HACU mission includes a commitment to improving access to and the quality of post-secondary educational opportunities for Hispanic students.
Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs)
Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) were created in response to the higher education needs of American Indians and generally serve geographically isolated populations that have no other means accessing education beyond the high school level. TCUs have become increasingly important to educational opportunity for native American students and are unique institutions that combine personal attention with cultural relevance to encourage American Indians—especially those living on reservations—to overcome the barriers they face to higher education. (Source: AIHEC website)
The Center for Student Opportunity (CSO), is a national nonprofit organization based in Bethesda, MD that works to empower first-generation college students on the path to and through college.
In 2013, CSO launched I'm First! an online community for first-generation college students - and their supporters - parents, counselors, and mentors - on the road to and through college. CSO has worked to create tools and resources to help first-generation college students research and plan for college.
CSO Find Colleges - Database allows prospective students to search and connect with colleges and universities that support first-generation college students.