Merced the second UC campus to receive designation, which provides enhanced access to funding for student support services, faculty development and renovation of instructional facilities
MERCED — The University of California, Merced, and U.S. Representative Dennis Cardoza today announced that the university has been designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) under the guidelines of the U.S. Department of Education.
The designation certifies an enrollment of at least 25 percent Hispanic students and is critical for obtaining grants and other funding for a variety of purposes such as student support services, faculty development, scientific and laboratory equipment and renovation of instructional facilities.
"As the first American public research university of the 21 stcentury, we are tremendously proud to have a student body that reflects the diversity of California," said Steve Kang, UC Merced chancellor. "Our talented students, who hail from the top 12.5 percent of high school graduates throughout the state, are invigorated by and benefit from the diversity of fellow students — be it geographic, ethnic, economic, cultural or other characteristic."
Thirty-two percent of UC Merced undergraduate students are Hispanic. Asians account for 33 percent, Caucasian 22 percent and black seven percent. The top three geographic regions from where undergraduates hail are the San Joaquin Valley (32 percent), the San Francisco Bay Area (nearly 28 percent) and Southern California (nearly 24 percent). UC Merced also has the highest percentage of first-generation students — with neither parent having a four-year degree — in the UC system.
"I could not be more pleased," Cardoza said. "This designation marks the culmination of several years of collaborative work between my office and UC Merced. It will ensure that the university receives due recognition for its support in educating our students from the San Joaquin Valley and elsewhere in California. And it ensures the campus receives top consideration in funding opportunities to support the UC mission and its students."
In addition, Cardoza said the designation could also help secure funding that would benefit the planned UC Merced medical school.
The university first submitted its application for the HSI designation to the Department of Education in February 2006. The agency provided notice of the HSI designation on April 26, 2010.
The designation makes the university eligible for a host of funding and grants from the U.S. departments of Education, Agriculture, and Housing and Urban Development. That funding would support research efforts as well as provide increases in financial aid available to students.
President Obama's budget request for fiscal year 2011-12 calls for $123 million for HSI-designated schools.
UC Merced joins UC Riverside as the only two University of California campuses to receive the HSI designation.
"This is a significant victory for UC Merced and for our community," Cardoza said. "As we continue to develop the campus, I will continue to do all I can to support the university's efforts."
For more information about UC Merced's diverse student body, visit: www.ucmerced.edu/fastfacts/ MEDIA CONTACT: Patti Waid Istas