The Unique Strengths of Minority Serving Institutions

Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) — Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Asian American and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions — offer unique strengths that set them apart from other higher education choices.

Diversity on Campus

First, MSIs offer diverse campuses in every way, including students representing racial and ethnic diversity, socio-economic diversity, religious diversity, and more. There's no "typical" student look here.

Second, MSIs also boast faculty diversity, with the most diverse faculties in the nation in terms of race and ethnicity, and gender. At an MSI, you will sit in classes with professors who are representative of the nation as a whole.

In addition, MSIs have low faculty-to-student ratios, and as a result, students are able to establish close relationships with faculty members that often lead to research and leadership opportunities.

A Different Approach to Career Prep

MSIs have a significant track record for placing students into graduate and professional science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs. Did you know that there are over 1 million unfilled jobs in the STEM area in the United States? MSIs promote a cooperative STEM environment, rather than a competitive one; they believe in the success of their students.

A Sense of Community

Further, MSIs are focused on local communities and have been working in these communities for decades. Students interested in service learning and community engagement can thrive at MSIs and provide opportunities to those who have gone without them.

Finally, MSIs offer a family-like environment that provides students with both academic and social support. These institutions care about the whole person and his or her development.

Although many Americans are not familiar with Minority Serving Institutions, these institutions offer opportunities to a wide variety of students and are located across the nation in major cities and urban areas. They also can offer a college education for half the tuition costs as majority institutions.

To learn more about MSIs, a main resource is the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions, which produces reports and gathers news about this group of universities.

You can also find a variety of articles on Noodle about going to college as a minority, or if you have a specific question, don't hesitate ask our community of experts.