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Minority-Serving Institutions

December 30, 1899


The American Council on Education’s Center for Policy Research and Strategy (CPRS) is pleased to announce an issue and policy brief series on Minority-serving institutions (MSIs). CPRS researchers and invited scholars to use Delta Cost Project Data and other relevant data sources to explore the financial profiles of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and consider the financial sustainability of these vital institutions.

Why explore the financial profiles of MSIs?

Over the last decade, the Obama Administration and a number of advocacy and philanthropic organizations have emphasized raising educational attainment and college completion as paramount national goals. Yet it will be nearly impossible for the country to reach such goals without continuing to examine postsecondary pathways for low-income students and communities of color.

Minority-serving institutions are a critical access point and pathway to higher education credentials for these diverse communities. Many MSIs, however, face constraints that if alleviated would improve the ability of these colleges and universities to increase educational attainment. Understanding the financial profiles of MSIs is an important step toward enhancing state, federal, and private investments in postsecondary education. Improving opportunity for all students to obtain a postsecondary credential will close an educational equity gap currently preventing advancement of the college completion agenda.


Papers in the Series

Hispanic-Serving Institutions:
Government Investment in Public Hispanic-Serving Institutions

By: Christopher J. Nellum and Katherine Valle 

Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) are colleges and universities with 25% or more total undergraduate Hispanic enrollment. This issue brief offers an overview of federal funding requirements, current revenue streams available to HSIs, and examines threats to long-term HSI viability.

Read a summary of the HSI issue brief and access the full report (PDF, 1MB) here.


Tribal Colleges and Universities

By: Christine Nelson and Joanna R. Frye

Tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) continue to provide a transformative postsecondary experience and education for the Indigenous population and non-Native students from in and around Native communities. This issue brief first contextualizes the important progress TCUs have made in Indian Country, then describes important inequities in federal, state, and local funding that limit these institutions’ ability to further their impact on the tribal communities they are chartered to serve.

Read a summary of the TCU issue brief and access the full report (PDF, 1MB) here.


Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Public and Private Investments and Divestments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities
By: Krystal L. Williams and BreAnna L. Davis

This issue brief summarizes the federal, state, and local funding sources of HBCUs and non-HBCUs – in addition to private institutional investments – to illustrate continuing disparities in how colleges and universities secure resources.

Read a summary of the HBCU issue brief and access the full report (PDF, 1.3 MB) here​.

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