How to find top colleges for Hispanics

Have you ever wondered how to find the top colleges for Hispanics? As Hispanic students await their SAT scores, it is time for families to consider this question as they choose where college applications will be sent. School selections and choices depend on many factors: geography, majors offered, cost, and the social scene. Another important element may be the Hispanic factor – are you considering a top college for Hispanics?

No time like the present

A recent study released by the Hispanic Pew Center reported a surge in Hispanics attending college, growing from about 1.3 million in 2008 to almost 2.1 million in 2010. This increase represented the first time the number of Hispanic 18-24 year olds in college surpassed the number of Black students in college. With young Hispanics swelling college application pools and lecture halls, it is more important than ever to know the top colleges for Hispanics and to identify the right institution that will provide the desired amount of academic support.

What is a Hispanic college?

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universites (HACU), founded in 1986, is a non-profit organization that represents more than 400 institutions committed to Hispanic success in higher education in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, and Spain. The organization also provides funding and scholarship opportunities as well as information about navigating the college admission process. HACU also has identified the top colleges for Hispanics through their designation Hispanic serving institutions (HSIs).

HSIs, according to HACU’s, refers to colleges and universities whose total student body (full-time, part-time, and graduate students) is made up of at least 25% Hispanic students. While HACU represents only about 10% of schools in the US, these schools serve nearly two-thirds of all Hispanic college students. These schools are found in only 14 states, including California, Texas, Florida, and Arizona. Visit the HACU website for a complete listing of the top colleges nationwide.

Other factors

Though HSIs identify the top colleges for Hispanics based on student population, there are other factors you may want to consider. For instance, you may be interested in nationally ranked institutions that do not qualify as an HSI. Does that mean you have to trade top college ranking for top Hispanic college? Not necessarily. Understanding that minority students have held a historically economic and social disadvantage in higher education, universities from UCLA to University of Virginia to Harvard University provide support resources for minority students that can vary from social networks to tutorial sessions. Therefore, it is important to seek out the diversity programs and initiatives available at any school you are considering.

For Hispanic college-bound students there are many factors to take into consideration as you decide where to send those applications. Aside from the usual cost, geographical area, and other major questions, don’t forget there are also top colleges for Hispanics available that may provide you with the additional support you may seek as you take the next step into higher education.