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Hispanic-Serving Institutions with the Highest Payoff

Earnings data shows religious schools and universities in Florida and California top the list

Taylor Nichols

Written By: Taylor Nichols

Published: 9/15/2022

The rapidly growing U.S. Hispanic population of over 62 million people is the second-largest ethnic group in America, accounting for 19% of the country’s population. Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) play a critical role for the robust Hispanic and Latino communities across the United States. To qualify as an HSI, at least 25% of a school's enrolled student body must identify as Hispanic or Latino.

In the 2020-21 school year, more than 550 schools qualified as HSIs, representing 18% of all colleges and universities in the U.S. These schools educated two-thirds of Latino college students in 29 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

To highlight the top colleges with the highest payoff for Latino students, we looked at which HSIs serve higher rates of Hispanic undergraduate students where alumni earn higher median salaries compared to other bachelor's graduates in their state. We found that a handful of universities in Florida and California offered higher earnings for graduates. Six religious schools, including four Catholic universities, also offered higher payoffs for alumni.

The Top HSIs with the Highest Payoff

Institution Percent of Students who are Hispanic Median Salary State Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Payoff

St. Thomas University


52.80% $52,159 $42,242


Florida International University


66.68% $48,886 $42,242


College of Mount Saint Vincent

New York

42.22% $57,439 $53,976


Arizona State University - West Campus


34.90% $50,364 $46,912


California Lutheran University


34.03% $57,227 $53,976


California State Polytechnic University-Pomona


45.57% $57,016 $53,976


University of Houston


35.17% $54,482 $51,534


Mount Saint Mary's University


59.73% $56,172 $53,976


Trinity International University - Florida


45.14% $43,396 $42,242


University of St Thomas


45.53% $52,370 $51,534


Source: Equitable Value Explorer


Data was sourced from the Postsecondary Value Commission using their Equitable Value Explorer tool. Our study included all Hispanic-Serving Institutions, which typically need to serve a student body that is at least 25% Hispanic or Latino. We filtered to schools with at least 33% Hispanic students according to data from the Postsecondary Value Commission to highlight colleges that serve a higher rate of Hispanic and Latino students. Federal data was used to filter for schools where at least 50% of students enrolled were undergraduate students in the 2020-21 school year.

Median salary data for colleges and universities comes from the Equitable Value Explorer for graduates 10 years after initially enrolling. The state median salary for a bachelor's degree is estimated based on data from the American Community Survey, sourced from the Equitable Value Explorer data tool.

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