Increasing Our Services to Hispanic Communities

The University of Colorado Denver was thrilled to receive federal designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution in October 2021. At that time, more than 26% of CU Denver’s undergraduates were Hispanic, reflecting the emerging demographics of both Denver and Colorado.

CU Denver was the fourth four-year university in Colorado to achieve HSI status.

Our Journey as an Emerging HSI

As all are aware, last fall CU Denver|Anschutz was jointly designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education (DoEd). The DoEd uses a complex and rigorous formula to determine enrollment criteria necessary for this official status, and we were awarded that status because our CU Denver|Anschutz enrollment numbers (calculated jointly) showed a population comprising at least 25% Latinx students—the DoEd’s HSI threshold. 

However, when those numbers were calculated to determine 2022 eligibility, we missed official HSI status for 2022 because we fell short of the required 25% Hispanic undergraduate population by half a percentage point in Fall 2020 (the semester that the DoEd and other federal grant-making agencies rely on when determining eligibility for fiscal year [FY] 2022). While we have hit a temporary speedbump in not meeting the federally mandated 25% enrolled Latinx students this year, we are no less committed to our strategic goals of closing the opportunity gap and making CU Denver a campus that serves our Hispanic and Latinx students, staff, faculty, and surrounding community.  

The following information provides more specific answers to questions about our current and near future status as an HSI and MSI.  

Our emerging HSI recognition aligns with CU Denver’s larger goal—laid out in our 2030 Strategic Plan—to become an exemplar equity-serving institution that makes education work for all. We know that diversity alone isn’t enough. We must put our diversity into action. Belonging and equity are core values that benefit every member of our Lynx campus. By empowering each individual to make an impact, CU Denver is creating an authentic culture of inclusion where everyone can achieve success on their own terms.

About HSI

A Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) is a unique designation by the U.S. Department of Education. To qualify, a university must have undergraduate full-time enrollment that is comprised of 25% or more Hispanic students and a high concentration of students eligible for Pell Grants.

No additional financial resources are provided automatically, but as an HSI the university is eligible for competitive federal grants that fund high-impact practices in support of student services and functions. These grants benefit student success and graduation, enrollment and retention, faculty and staff hiring, racially and culturally enhancing programs, and more. Research faculty can find grant eligibility details here.

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CU Denver News - Hispanic Serving Institution

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