Hispanic Outlook magazine has ranked UCF the No. 5 university in the nation for conferring bachelor’s degrees to Hispanics, marking the second year in a row the university has been recognized for its impact.
The ranking, which was released today and lists top-performing educational institutions, considers degrees awarded in the 2019-20 academic year. UCF was also ranked as the No. 17 university for awarding master’s degrees to Hispanics and No. 13 for Hispanic enrollment among four-year schools.
In 2019-20, UCF awarded 3,907 bachelor’s degrees and 531 master’s degrees to Hispanic students. During the same academic year 26.7% of the student body identified as Hispanic/Latino/a/x.
“As a richly diverse institution, UCF seeks to ensure that all students can succeed in a welcoming and inclusive educational environment,” says Andrea Guzmán, UCF’s Vice President for diversity, equity and inclusion. “To that end, we aim to surpass national graduation benchmarks for Hispanic/Latina/o/x students, particularly in disciplines they have the potential to thrive in, but may lack access, support and resources to — such as science, technology and medicine.”
As of Fall 2021, 19,665 Hispanic students are enrolled at UCF, making up 27.8% of student population. The U.S. Department of Education recognized UCF as a Hispanic Serving Institution — which makes the university eligible for federal funding opportunities to improve the educational experience of Hispanic and low-income students — after exceeding 25% in 2019. There are 569 HSIs in the U.S., 13 of which are Florida public four-year institutions like UCF. In August, UCF was selected as the No. 3 in Best Hispanic-Serving Institution in America by Niche, a college ranking and review website.
“At UCF, we recognize the responsibility we have of serving this growing segment of our community in the ways that resonate with them,” says Cyndia Morales Muñiz ’13EdD, director of HSI Culture and Partnerships. “We have come a long way and remain committed to being the best Hispanic Serving Institution we can be.”
Hispanic Outlook also ranked UCF within the top 10 schools nationally across five degrees:
- 4 for engineering
- 4 for visual and performing arts
- 7 for English language and literature/letters
- 9 for computer and information sciences and support services
- 10 for education
In August, NASA awarded UCF —which was eligible because of its HSI designation — a $500,000 grant that will increase opportunities for underrepresented students to create transformative space technologies for the Artemis program. In 2020, the U.S. National Science Foundation awarded UCF more than $1.8 million to support the success of Latino and other underrepresented students in STEM fields.
This year, INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education, awarded UCF a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award for the seventh consecutive year — recognizing the university’s longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Through 2023, UCF’s board of trustees have extended the Puerto Rican Educational Relief Initiative, which was launched in 2017 to assist students displaced by Hurricane Maria by offering in-state tuition.
In 2018, UCF’s Latino Leadership Council, which is an educational and cultural student organization committed to unifying, informing, and serving the Hispanic/Latino community at the university, was created.