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Perdomo and Guajardo Investigate the Use of Title V Funds Within HSIs

Caring or Capitalizing

by Mary Harrison

Rebecca Perdomo (PhD, 2019) and Rodrigo Guajardo (PhD student) released a report titled, "Caring or Capitalizing: How HSIs Leverage Title V Funds" through the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education.

Perdomo and Guajardo explored Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) prioritization of funds and programs towards Latinx students by investigating two questions: “How do Title V grant abstracts vary relative to their Latinx-focused language and program activities?” and “How do HSIs engage with servingness in their Title V abstracts?” 

The research team analyzed the language used by 70 different institutions when applying for grants alongside descriptions of the programs and initiatives implemented with the funds. They grouped the HSIs into four categories based on the alignment of servingness statements in the proposals with the ways the funds were used, and particularly the benefit to Latinx students.

Perdomo said that they expected to find Title V grant funds largely targeting LatinX student needs; "Instead, we found that, HSI grant winners tend to miss that mark by directing most of the funds to broad, institution-wide initiatives that overlook Latinx students."

Discrepancies between the original intentions of Title V funds and the usage of funds by the colleges and universities led Perdomo and Guajardo to call for more oversight and expanded services for Latinx students. They state, "[I]nstitutions should go a step further, centering Title V activities around Latinx students, acknowledging their unique needs and contributions to their campuses and communities."

In attempting to assist universities and policy makers with this change, they provided many recommendations, and avenues for future research. Perdomo and Guajardo concluded, "Overall, our institutions will never truly change until we become intentional and targeted about the language we use to visualize transformation and servingness for Latinx students in general and at HSIs specifically."

Full report available at:

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