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Department of Education Designations

Minority-Serving Institution (MSI)

Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) are U.S. colleges and universities that enroll a high percentage of minority students. Because minoritized populations have experienced disproportionate barriers to higher education, the federal government provides financial support through various titles of the Higher Education Act. MSIs include Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and colleges and universities with high enrollments of Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians.

Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI)

APU started to become recognized as an emerging HSI in 2014-15. The Department of Education application was submitted and awarded the official designation in 2017. The Higher Education Act defines an HSI as an eligible institution of higher education that has an enrollment of undergraduate full-time-equivalent students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic.

APU is also a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), which was founded in 1986 to champion Hispanic success in higher education and is the only national educational organization representing Hispanic-serving institutions. More than 400 colleges and universities in the United States, Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain, and Portugal comprise HACU’s membership, and HACU’s advocacy efforts with the federal government have led to more than $1.2 billion in grants targeted to member institutions since 1995.

Asian American, Native American, Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI)

The Department of Education also recognizes APU as an AANAPISI, which are institutions that serve an undergraduate population that is low income (at least 50% receiving Title IV needs-based assistance) and in which Asian American, Native American, and/or Pacific Islander students constitute at least 10% of undergraduate full-time equivalent students.

What Does This Mean for APU?

APU is now competing for grants under Title III and Title V of the Higher Education Act. This is a robust, competitive process facilitated and evaluated by the Department of Education. APU is committed to pursuing such grants in an effort to bolster university infrastructure and support for referenced minoritized student populations.