Menlo College designated as Hispanic and Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander Serving Institution

(Atherton, California: May 15, 2020) – Menlo College has one of the nation’s most diverse campuses. This week, the Federal Department of Education designated the College as both a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and an Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) — a status attained by only 1% of all colleges and universities in the United States. College leadership welcomed the designations as underscoring the College’s longstanding commitment and success in serving a diverse population at the highest level.

The Higher Education Act defines a Hispanic Serving Institution as a college or university that has an enrollment of at least 25 percent Hispanic students. To qualify as AANAPISI, enrollment must be at least 10 percent Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander students. At least 50 percent of these degree-seeking students must also receive federal financial assistance. 

These designations mean that Menlo College may now compete for Department of Education grants that support or expand educational opportunities of all stated student populations. Incoming Dean of Arts & Sciences Melissa R. Michelson hopes to secure grants to fund mentoring systems to support students academically and socially, as well as to enhance course offerings to further reflect the student body. “Being an HSI and an AANAPISI means helping every student succeed, and also ensuring that our curriculum is diverse and inclusive.” 

“During an otherwise incredibly challenging time, this welcome news is a beacon of light. It is an honor to be recognized as one of the best and most welcoming institutions for Hispanic, Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander students. Many of these students are also the first in their families to attend college, and they have found their home with us, here at Menlo College. Each of them has brought an array of diverse perspectives, experiences, stories, and courage that have bolstered the strength of our community” shared Menlo College President Steven Weiner. “But it does not stop here. It is our collective responsibility to continue to do our part in increasing higher educational opportunities for all underserved student populations and enhancing the education of all students.”

The chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, Erik Bakke, added to the conversation, “The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee joins the entire Menlo community in celebrating Menlo’s new and long-anticipated HSI and AANAPISI designations. The Committee looks forward to continuing to support and receive support from students, faculty, and staff as we welcome members of the Menlo community from all backgrounds and in pursuit of our mission to preserve, cultivate, promote, embrace, and celebrate diversity on our campus, and ensure that diversity is understood, respected, accepted and valued.”

About Menlo College: Menlo College is a small private undergraduate college founded in 1927 with a mission to “ignite potential and educate students to make meaningful contributions in the innovation economy.” A residential college in the heart of Silicon Valley, Menlo College offers degrees in business and psychology. Menlo’s diverse student population comes from all over the world to learn the practical arts of business, including leadership, critical thinking, creativity, team building, communication, and the science of behavior.