National Hispanic Heritage Month and The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities

National Hispanic Heritage Month and The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities

Melissa W.

We’re celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month over the next few weeks and highlighting education access for the 61.31 million Hispanics who live in The United States, making up the largest minority population.

The number of Hispanics or Latinos (a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race as defined by The U.S. Office of Management and Budget) seeking higher education is growing, thanks in part to the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. HACU estimates that over the next three years, “Hispanic enrollment in higher education is expected to exceed 4.1 million students by 2026, far surpassing the growth rate of any other racial-ethnic group - by over 10%.”

According to its website, HACU was founded in 1986 with only 18 founding institutions and “is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).” The organization assists Hispanic individuals in accessing educational opportunities and resources. It’s since grown to represent “over 500 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain and U.S. school districts.” HACU has been largely credited in securing federal funding for institutions with high enrollment of Hispanic students. “HACU is committed to Hispanic success in education, from kindergarten through graduate school and into the workforce of tomorrow. Everyone has a stake in HACU’s crucial goals: to promote the development of member colleges and universities; to improve access to and the quality of postsecondary educational opportunities for Hispanic students; and to meet the needs of business, industry and government through the development and sharing of resources, information and expertise.” 

Hispanic graduates are also on the rise with an estimated 1 out of 4 (25%) associate degrees conferred in 2020, compared to 13% in 2011 with STEM degrees increasing by 5%.

Interested in learning more about HACU and its benefits? Visit their website at:


Cover photo by Juan Ramos on Unsplash

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