West Hills District colleges named Hispanic Serving Instituions

From West Hills College

West Hills College Coalinga and West Hills College Lemoore have once again been designated Hispanic Serving Institutions by the United States Department of Education, a designation West Hills College Lemoore and Coalinga also had in 2016.

As a result of being named an eligible institution, WHCC and WHCL are eligible for a waiver of non-Federal share matching requirements for numerous Federal programs and can apply for specific grants open only to HSIs.

“We are very excited to once again be designated a Hispanic Serving Institution,” said Anita Wright, Director of Grants for the West Hills Community College District. “We are proud to be an HSI and receiving this designation will also allow us to continue exploring ways to help our students achieve success.”

In order to receive the designation, institutions must document that above 25 percent of the students enrolled are Hispanic, that more than 50% of students receive need-based financial aid, and that each college’s per student expense doesn’t exceed the Federal per capita expense requirement.

As part of the process, it was determined that 58.4 percent of students at WHCC and 58.3 percent of students at WHCL received Pell grants, exceeding the threshold needed to qualify as an HSI. Both campuses also exceeded the 25 percent Hispanic requirement, with WHCC reporting 72.5 percent minority student population and WHCL documenting 63.7 percent.

As an eligible institution under the Title III and Title V programs of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, WHCC and WHCL can access more federal funding opportunities.

This includes eligibility for a waiver of non-federal share matching requirements under the Federal Work Study Program, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program, the TRIO Student Support Services Program under Title IV of the HEA, and the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program under Title VI of the HEA.

The waiver is good for one-year starting July 1, 2017.

Being an HSI also opens the opportunity for West Hills College to apply for specific grants under Title III and Title V. Currently, both WHCL and WHCC have Title V programs. 

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