Frequently Asked Questions

Increasing understanding around the significance, work, and goals of UC Santa Cruz’s Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) designation is critical to creating lasting educational equity at the university.

We hope the information below will provide you with answers to common questions we hear about what it means to be an HSI.

What is a Hispanic-Serving Institution?

A Hispanic-Serving Institution is a special designation from the Department of Education that enables higher education institutions to apply for grants supporting the academic success of Latinx students. To be considered a Hispanic-Serving Institution, universities and colleges must meet specific requirements and apply for the designation. Once earned, the designation allows institutions to apply for federal grants enabling HSIs to expand and strengthen their academic offerings, program quality, and institutional stability.

Why did the university become an HSI?

College campuses like UC Santa Cruz are increasingly diverse, however, resources and educational approaches have not kept pace with these shifting demographics. The HSI designation is one of many ways UC Santa Cruz can create educational equity and evolve with student needs.

When did UC Santa Cruz become an HSI?

The University become a Hispanic Serving Institution in 2015. You can learn more about the history of our HSI status and also see the official designation letter.

Are the programs and services only for Latinx students?

HSI programs and services are designed for Latinx students but are open to all students.