Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
HEA_2
Issue Background

Higher Education Act (HEA)

HACU's Position
Greater investment in Hispanic higher education is required to supply the number and quality of highly skilled workers demanded by our technology and knowledge-driven economy.

HEA is the legislation that defines the federal government's role in higher education. It governs federal student aid programs including Pell Grants and federal student loans, international education, and developing institution programs. Most critically for HACU, it contains the definition of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and authorizes the Title V, Parts A and B, grant programs that support HSI undergraduate and graduate education, as well as Title III, Part F, the Hispanic-Serving Institutions Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (HSI STEM) and Articulation program. Last authorized in 2008, it is due for reauthorization in the current Congress. Below is a chart that shows the change in enrollment, especially for Hispanic students, since the last HEA re-authorization.

Fall Enrollment Changes of U.S. Residents in Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions, by Race/Ethnicity: 2000,2010, 2019

Although HACU and its supporters in Congress have been able to increase appropriations for HSIs from the first $12 million in fiscal year 1995 to $162.4 million in fiscal year 2021, under Title V alone, HSIs remain the most under-funded cohort of institutions that are serving the most undereducated and underserved racial/ethnic population in America. Even though Hispanics are now the largest and fastest-growing segment of our national population, they show the lowest educational attainment and income levels. Because of their robust demographic growth, Hispanics are also the backbone of the American work force: they are projected to account for 74 percent of the growth in the U.S. workforce between 2010 and 2020. Greater investment in Hispanic higher education is required to supply the number and quality of highly skilled workers demanded by our technology and knowledge-driven economy.

117th Congress - America's College Promise Act
On April 27, 2021, Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI), House Education & Labor Committee Chair Bobby Scott (D-VA), Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee Chair Patty Murra (D-WA) reintroduced the America's College Promise Act of 2021.

Additional Resources:

Did you know?
The single most important federal funding for HSIs comes through the Department of Education’s Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (under Title V of the Higher Education Act).