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Hispanic Heritage Month 2016

Pres. Obama Declares National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week

Image: Graduating students listen to U.S. President Obama speak during commencement at the University of Michigan

File photo of university students at commencement. KEVIN LAMARQUE / Reuters

More than six-in-10 Latino students attend colleges and universities with large Hispanic populations.

President Barack Obama proclaimed September 12 through September 18, 2016 National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week.

"This week, we reflect on how these important institutions have helped Hispanic students reach for their dreams, and we reaffirm our commitment to supporting them for generations to come," the proclamation reads. "Hispanics are the largest and fastest growing minority group in America, and we must keep striving to ensure they can pursue an exceptional education."

A Hispanic-Serving Institution, or HSI, is a college or university where at least 25 percent of its student body is Latino. In the U.S., 435 institutions are classified as HSIs. Additionally, 310 schools qualify as "emerging HSIs," which have Latino populations between 15 and 24 percent.

In the U.S., 13 percent of colleges and universities are HSIs.

RELATED: Report: Latinos Stick With Studies at High Rates to Get Higher Education

A majority of U.S. Latino students attended HSIs in the 2014-2015 academic year, according to a study by Excelencia in Education, an organization tracking Latino college enrollment. The total number of HSIs increased by 7 percent in 18 states.

RELATED: More Latinos With STEM Degrees Needed, Here Are Top Schools Doing It

"For generations, HSIs have helped Hispanics earn college degrees, seek meaningful careers, and aspire to be anything they want. At the heart of our nation is the idea that no matter where you come from or what you look like, if you are willing to work hard, you can make it in America," says the proclamation.

RELATED: More Latinos Are Going to College, But In Small Number of Schools

Another reportby Excelencia in Education found that the majority of the top 25 colleges and universities graduating Latino students in STEM degrees are HSIs.

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