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NASA Office of Small Business Programs, Where Small Business Makes a Big Difference

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) / Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs)

Eligibility Requirements

Per 20 U.S.C. 1067q, Investment in Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other Minority Serving Institutions:

An institution of higher education is eligible to receive funds from the amounts made available under this section if such institution is

  1. a part B institution (as defined in section 1061 of this title);
  2. a Hispanic-serving institution (as defined in section 1101a of this title);
  3. a Tribal College or University (as defined in section 1059c of this title);
  4. an Alaska Native–serving institution or a Native Hawaiian–serving institution (as defined in section 1059d(b) of this title);
  5. a Predominantly Black Institution (as defined in subsection (c));
  6. an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institution (as defined in subsection (c)); or
  7. a Native American–serving nontribal institution (as defined in subsection (c)).

Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Certification Requirement

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, defines an HBCU as: “… any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary [of Education] to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation.”

Minority Serving Institutions
Certification Requirement

“Minority Serving Institution” must be an institution of higher education whose enrollment of a single minority or a combination of minorities (as defined in paragraph (2)) exceeds 50 percent of the total enrollment.

Minority is defined, in 20 U.S.C. 1067k, as American Indian, Alaskan Native, Black (not of Hispanic origin), Hispanic (including persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Central or South American origin), Pacific Islander or other ethnic group underrepresented in science and engineering.


  • 51 U.S.C. 30304 (Pub. L. 111–314) provides NASA with separate authority to maintain its program for HBCUs/MSIs.
  • Effective August 2017, NASA’s HBCU/MSI goal was added to the NASA FAR Supplement section 1826.302, General Policy, to implement the Agency-wide 1 percent HBCU/MSI goal.

Contact Information

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