U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans


MINORITY INSTITUTIONS (as defined in the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP)). This list of “minority institutions” was compiled based on the definition of “minority institution” found in § 365(3) the Higher Education Act (HEA) (20 U.S.C. § 1067k(3)).  § 365(3)’s definition of “minority institution” applies to the MSEIP and other programs that reference this definition. Federal agencies and others interested in institutions enrolling significant numbers of minority students may find this list of “minority institutions” helpful.  However, this list is only one source of information to assist you in determining the eligibility of an institution for a particular federal grant, contract, or benefit program.

 This list of “minority institutions” relies on Fall 2006 enrollment data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) collected by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).  NCES has determined that each of the colleges and universities on this list reported an enrollment of a single minority group, as the term “minority” is defined under § 365(2) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. § 1067k(2)), or combination of those minority groups, that exceeded 50 percent of its total enrollment.  For the purposes of this list, “minority” is defined as American Indian, Alaska Native, Black (not of Hispanic origin) and Hispanic. [1]

This list does not include Asians or Pacific Islanders, because the IPEDS enrollment data used here does not disaggregate Pacific Islanders from Asians.  Under § 365(2) of the HEA, Pacific Islanders are considered to be minorities for purposes of the MSEIP. [2] Asians, on the other hand, are not considered to be a minority under this program.  Because this list is based on the MSEIP definition of “minority institution,” it does not include all institutions that serve minority students.  For example, the definition of “minority student” for purposes of the Strengthening Institutions Program is a “student who is Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian-American, Black (African-American), Hispanic American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander” (34 C.F.R. § 607.7).  Thus an institution may have an enrollment of Asian-American students that would be counted in its minority student population, and therefore would be eligible to apply for the Strengthening Institutions Program, although that institution would not be found on this list as a “minority institution.”  

This list also excludes institutions that did not report Fall 2006 enrollment data for the IPEDS (or did not do so on a timely basis); for-profit schools, because the definition of “minority institution” under the HEA does not include for-profit schools; and institutions that do not have “nationally recognized” accreditation, as required by 20 U.S.C. § 1067k(1) and 20 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(5).  Federal agencies and others with an interest in colleges or universities not appearing on this list should obtain or confirm information regarding their minority student populations, and/or their eligibility for a specific grant, contract, or benefit program, directly with those institutions.

As noted above, the HEA’s definitions of “minority” and “minority institutions” under the MSEIP are in Sections 365(2) and (3) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, 20 U.S.C. § 1067k(2) and (3), respectively.  These definitions can be found on-line at the website of the Department’s Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE), at (HEA Definition). [Note to the reader: You may find the PDF version particularly helpful in viewing the definitions.]

LIST LINK: Minority Institutions (based on the definition in the MSEIP)

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NOTE-1 The IPEDS defines Hispanic as a “person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central, or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.” The Higher Education Act’s definition of minority defines Hispanic as “including persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Central or South American origin.”

The federal government’s Office of Management and Budget has defined the term “Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander” to include Native Hawaiians, Guamanians, Samoans, and persons from the following groups reported in the 1990 census: Carolinian, Fijian, Kosraean, Melanesian, Micronesian, Northern Mariana Islander, Palauan, Papua New Guinean, Ponapean (Pohnpelan), Polynesian, Solomon Islander, Tahitian, Tarawa Islander, Tokelauan, Tongan, Trukese (Chuukese), and Yapese. This definition is found in the preamble to the "Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity," 62 FR 58782, 58786, 58789 (October 30, 1997).