Top 25 Best HSIs: 2018 Rankings

Hispanic Serving Institutions, or HSIs, do just what their name implies. These schools are dedicated to serving Hispanic and Latino students in the United States. The mission of these schools is to increase the aid, support, and access to quality higher education for students of Hispanic descent—particularly first-generation and low-income students. However, HSIs open their doors to students of all races.

Here are College Raptor’s picks for the Best HSIs.

25. California State University–Fullerton

  • Flickr user Mihaylo CSUF

    Location: Fullerton, CA

  • Student Enrollment: 38,948
  • College Type: Public, 4-year or above

California State University–Fullerton has the largest student body out of all other CSU campuses. The university boasts Tuffy the Titan, an elephant, as their mascot. Actor Kevin Costner graduated from the Fullerton campus in 1978 with a BA in Marketing and Finance.


24. California State Polytechnic University–Pomona

  • Flickr user brian lee clements

    Location: Pomona, CA

  • Student Enrollment: 23,717
  • College Type: Public, 4-year or above

Cal Poly Pomona is one of two polytechnic schools in the California State University system. The campus has a Japanese garden and a free campus shuttle for students to use. The school accepts 59% of the almost 33,000 applications they receive each year. The top majors are Business Administration, Hospitality Administration, and Mechanical Engineering.

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23. California State University–Chico

  • Flickr user Michael Seery

    Location: Chico, CA

  • Student Enrollment: 17,220
  • College Type: Public, 4-year or above

CSU Chico’s campus ninety miles north of Sacramento is the second oldest in the entire California State University System. Of the 23,000 applications that come in each year, the school accepts around 15,600, making its acceptance rate 65%. Of its diverse array of majors, the most popular are Business, Psychology, and Criminal Justice.


22. University of Puerto Rico–Rio Piedras

  • Flickr user OZinOH (Note: Picture is of San Juan campus)

    Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico

  • Student Enrollment: 16,454
  • College Type: Public, 4-year or above

The largest campus in the University of Puerto System, Rio Pedras has granted the largest number of doctorate degrees to Hispanics in the United States. The college provides its students with a wide variety of courses of study, including 70 undergraduate programs and 71 specializations.


21. St. Mary’s University

  • Flickr user Scooter Simpson

    Location: San Antonio, TX

  • Student Enrollment: 3,625
  • College Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Founded in 1852, St. Mary’s is the oldest Catholic university in Texas and the American Southwest. Its student-faculty ratios of 12:1 encourages an engaged learning environment on its campus in downtown San Antonio. The school decided upon its mascot, The Rattler, after having to regularly clear diamondback snakes from its football practice field.  

20. Mount Saint Mary’s University

  • Flickr user Chris Lott

    Location: Los Angeles, CA

  • Student Enrollment: 3,431
  • College Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

MSMU has been educating women leaders since 1925 and most recently became a university in 2015. The institution has two campus locations conveniently located only 16 miles apart. With 68% of graduates continuing on to advanced degree programs, the largest majors are Nursing, Business Administration, and Psychology.


19. California State University–Channel Islands

  • Wikimedia Commons user Kevin

    Location: Camarillo, CA

  • Student Enrollment: 6,167
  • College Type: Public, 4-year or above

Despite its name, CSU-Channel Islands is nestled against the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains in mainland California, just a short drive to the Pacific Ocean. As the newest institution in the California State University System, CSU-Channel Islands was founded in 2002 in buildings that were originally constructed in 1934 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal during the Great Depression, . While it has no intercollegiate athletic teams, it does feature Ekho the Dolphin as its official mascot.

18. Fresno Pacific University

  • Wikimedia Commons user Jon Harder

    Location: Fresno, CA

  • Student Enrollment: 3,342
  • College Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Founded in 1944 by the Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, FPU is a Christian university with four campuses in the Central Valley region of California. With academic rigor founded in the Christian faith, FPU admits 50% of its applicants on average. Top majors at the university are Psychology, Hospitality Management, and Biology.

17. California State University–Long Beach

  • Flickr user Alejandro Cortes

    Location: Long Beach, CA

  • Student Enrollment: 37,446
  • College Type: Public, 4-year or above

As the third largest school in the California State System, more than 37,000 students are enrolled in 82 different bachelor’s degrees, 65 types of master’s degrees, and four doctoral programs. Long Beach State is also home to the largest publicly funded art school west of the Mississippi River. Famous alumni include director Steven Spielberg and Evan Longoria of MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays.

16. Florida International University

  • Flickr user Eduardo Merille

    Location: Miami, FL

  • Student Enrollment: 49,782
  • College Type: Public, 4-year or above

Currently the fourth largest institution in the U.S., FIU has an extensive array of academic programs – 280. The newly developed TEDxFIU strives to make contributions to the world through ideas, concepts, and projects from FIU. The FIU Panthers compete in the NCAA Division I and in 2009 hired NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas as head coach of the men’s basketball team.

15. University of La Verne

  • Location: La Verne, CA

  • Student Enrollment: 8,334
  • College Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Founded as Lordsburg College in 1891, the University of La Verne has nearly 50,000 alumni worldwide. The university has a highly diverse student body, with over 40 percent of its students identifying as Latino/Hispanic. ULV’s students are committed to giving back to their community and must complete community service projects to graduate.


14. CUNY Hunter College

  • Location: New York City, NY

  • Student Enrollment: 22,918
  • College Type: Public, 4-year or above

Hunter College is the largest within the CUNY system and is located in the heart of Manhattan in the Lenox Hill neighborhood. The school is selective with only 25% of students being selected.  With 70 undergraduate programs to choose from, the most popular are Psychology, English, and Nursing.


13. CUNY Queens College

  • Flickr user Mohammad Ghouri

    Location: Queens, NY

  • Student Enrollment: 19,520
  • College Type: Public, 4-year or above

Located in the most ethnically-diverse county in the country, Queens College enrolls students from over 170 different countries. Queens College is a liberal arts college that offers undergraduate degrees in 78 majors, master’s degrees in 24 departments, 20 doctoral degrees through the CUNY Graduate Center. Notable alumni include comedian Jerry Seinfeld, singer/songwriter Paul Simon, and actor Adrien Brody.

12. University of California–Merced

  • Flickr user Denis Lam

    Location: Merced, CA

  • Student Enrollment: 6,685
  • College Type: Public, 4-year or above

As the newest school in the UC system, UC Merced is the first American research university to be built in the 21st century. Merced is focused on environmental sustainability through its Triple Net Zero Commitment and all of its buildings are LEED certified. With seven research institutes across the university, the largest majors include Biology, Psychology, and Business Administration.


11. University of Illinois at Chicago

  • Flickr user Anne Petersen

    Location: Chicago, IL

  • Student Enrollment: 29,048
  • College Type: Public, 4-year or above

UIC is the largest university in the Chicago area, spread across three campus locations in the Little Italy, University Village, and Near West Side areas of the city. The university offers a broad range of academic offerings, with 85 bachelor’s programs designed to allow undergraduates to explore their intellectual interests. Sparky D. Dragon, UIC’s mascot, cheers on the NCAA Division I Flames in 18 intercollegiate sports.

10. Whittier College

  • Flickr user the Good Doctor

    Location: Whittier, CA

  • Student Enrollment: 2,187
  • College Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

As one of the nation’s most diverse liberal arts colleges, students of color make up 60% of the campus community. Its location between Los Angeles and Orange County provide students an array of off-campus activities. Their mascot, Johnny Poet, yields a large pen as he leads the Poets onto the field in their purple and gold.

9. Saint Edward’s University

  • Flickr user Stuart Seeger

    Location: Austin, TX

  • Student Enrollment: 4,620
  • College Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

With a foundation in Catholic heritage, students from all faiths populate this liberal arts college. Over 70% of students complete an internship experience prior to graduating in one the 70 majors offered. Since 2008, 43 Hilltoppers have been named as Fulbright Scholars.

8. San Diego State University

  • Flickr user Martha Jimenez

    Location: San Diego, CA

  • Student Enrollment: 34,254
  • College Type: Public, 4-year or above

SDSU was founded in 1897 as the San Diego Normal School with a mission of educating local women as elementary school teachers. Since then, SDSU has grown to be a leading research institution and has produced over 65 Fulbright Scholars in the past decade. The university features more than 75 academic majors for undergraduate students including Business, Philosophy, Communication Studies, and Astronomy.

7. California Lutheran University

  • Wikimedia Commons user Newkkwiki

    Location: Thousand Oaks, CA

  • Student Enrollment: 4,126
  • College Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Nestled between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, California Lutheran’s campus is located just 20 minutes from the Pacific Ocean. Students at Cal Lutheran hail from 38 states and 35 countries and have an average ACT of 27. The most popular majors on campus are Business Administration and Management, Psychology, and Speech Communications and Rhetoric.

6. Saint Mary’s College of California

  • Flickr user Franco Folini

    Location: Moraga, CA

  • Student Enrollment: 4,030
  • College Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Offering up to Doctorates, Saint Mary’s College of California currently has nearly 3,000 undergraduate students, with a vast majority deciding to major in business and commerce. After their first year at the college, approximately 86% will stay to continue their education. Although most students are from California, many are also from Washington, Texas, Illinois, and Oregon.

5. Arizona State University–Downtown Phoenix

  • Flickr user Kevin Dooley

    Location: Phoenix, AZ

  • Student Enrollment: 10,952
  • College Type: Public, 4-year or above

Known for innovation, ASU has a reputation for advancing technologies across many sectors. As one of the largest institutions in the U.S., ASU received nearly 25,000 applications in 2017. The downtown campus was established in 2006 and houses seven different colleges including the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

4. Arizona State University–West

  • Wikimedia Commons user NickSchweitzer

    Location: Glendale, AZ

  • Student Enrollment: 3,619
  • College Type: Public, 4-year or above

Commonly known as ASU West, the campus focuses on interdisciplinary and collaborative programs in the liberal arts and sciences, education, and business to prepare students for the 21st-century workforce. ASU West was the first to offer an undergraduate degree from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. ASU West is also an environmentally friendly campus, generating nearly all of its electricity from a 4.6MW on-site solar array.

3. University of California–Riverside

  • Flickr user Kevin Nelson

    Location: Riverside, CA

  • Student Enrollment: 21,385
  • College Type: Public, 4-year or above

Located 50 miles east of Los Angeles, UC Riverside is one of the most ethnically diverse institutions in the U.S. Most known for its extensive research on citrus diversity and entomology, UC Riverside’s largest majors are Business Administration and Management, Psychology, and Biology. The Highlanders compete in the Big West Conference and their nickname was inspired by the altitude of their campus in the foothills of Box Spring Mountain.

2. University of California–Santa Cruz

  • Flickr user John Kannenberg

    Location: Santa Cruz, CA

  • Student Enrollment: 17,868
  • College Type: Public, 4-year or above

Originally meant to be a showcase for innovative, cross-disciplinary undergraduate education and modern architecture, UC Santa Cruz was founded in 1965. With a diverse variety of ten separate academic colleges, the top majors at Santa Cruz are Psychology, Business, Cell Biology and Computer Science.

1. University of California–Santa Barbara

  • Location: Santa Barbara, CA

  • Student Enrollment: 23,497
  • College Type: Public, 4-year or above

The palm tree lined campus is one of the largest in the UC school system.  With over 70,000 applications received last year, this research university is a top destination for students interested in psychology, sociology, and economics.  UCSB operates 8 research centers which are funded by grants through the National Science Foundation (NSF).  The Gauchos compete in 10 men and 9 women sporting events.

About our methodology

Colleges are ranked based on a combination of factors, including graduation rates, campus diversity, endowment per student, and other data as reported via the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for the most recently-available enrollment year. Some colleges may have been excluded from rankings based on certain criteria, including specialization and classification. Learn about our full methodology.

Interested in any of these schools? Check out College Raptor’s free match tool to see if they’re a good fit for you!

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