$51 Million in Awards and Grants Set to Expand Educational Opportunities for Hispanic Students
According to Ed.gov, the U.S. Department of Education has awarded more than $51 million in grants to Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) to expand continued educational opportunities for both Hispanic and low-income students.
In total, the awarded money will be split between 96 HSIs across the country. An HSI is defined as an eligible institution of higher education that has at least 25% Hispanic full-time equivalent undergraduate enrollment.
The program provides grants to make college more attainable for Hispanic students who wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to attend a university.
The grants also assist schools in furthering educational opportunities for students through faculty development, an advanced curriculum, academic tutoring, and other ancillary services.
“More Hispanics than ever before are enrolling in college, and this grant program will help even more students have access to post-secondary degrees and credentials, which are key to building a highly skilled workforce,” said then-U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
“Hispanics will soon represent nearly one in three American workers, and in this competitive global marketplace, a skilled workforce is a necessity. The grant program also provides opportunities for low-income students to improve their life outcomes by obtaining a quality education.”
It’s great news for a community that has seen a tremendous drop-off in graduation rates over the past several years. According to NBC News, only 15% of Latino students in California, home to the largest number of Hispanics in the country, completed their undergraduate degree in the year 2010-11. In Texas, the number was 17%.
The grants also come on the heels of a growing issue with student loan debt in America. The average graduate in 2015 will have to pay back a little more than $35,000 in student loan debts, and programs like this are helping to soften such a steep financial blow.
The program is part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to expand the educational opportunities of Hispanic-Americans.
Earlier this month, the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics announced a plan to to improve the lives of the 55 million Hispanics who live in the U.S.