Rutgers GSE CMSI

CMSI Announces New Report on Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott’s Historic Donations to HSIs


Natalie Passov | | 848-932-0728

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ, October 4, 2022The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) and TRIVIUM BI are proud to announce the release of a new report, “The MacKenzie Scott Donations to Hispanic Serving Institutions: Exploring the Data Landscape.” The collaborative report uses a data-driven approach to delve into Scott’s $890 million in donations to 36 Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs).

After analyzing Scott’s approach to philanthropy and her historic donations to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) last year, the CMSI team took a similar approach and looked into the data behind her donations to HSIs. Unlike HBCUs, which were founded as a response to legal racial segregation in higher education, HSIs were largely developed in response to demographic shifts across the United States. Whereas Scott donated to 23 out of the 100 HBCUs in the country, she gave to 36 HSIs out of the 559. 

As 36 HSIs represent a small percentage of HSIs, the report’s authors were interested in why those particular colleges and universities received donations while the majority of HSIs did not. The authors consider factors such as location, tuition and fees, graduation rates, endowment per full time student, student loan default rates, and even U.S. News and World Report rankings. 

“This work is always fascinating. I tend to wonder why philanthropists choose particular institutions to give to over others…” shared Marybeth Gasman, one of the authors of the report, Executive Director of the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions, and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Endowed Chair. “We’re just trying to better understand these historic and important donations, and the data spelled out in the report can shed some light.” 

The report also includes comparative spotlights between institutions that received donations and those that didn’t in the California State University System, and across public, 4-year institutions in Texas as these regions in the country tend to have larger numbers of HSIs. It is important to note that the report's figures and comparisons are interactive. Readers can click on them and explore the data landscape of individual HSIs and across HSIs as a whole.

“For most students, the college experience is a transformative event,” mentioned report authors and TRIVIUM BI data architects Resche Hines and Angela Henderson. “Our partnership with CMSI allows us to explore factors that can profoundly influence the student experience. Through this research, we hope to encourage institutions to build sustainable data cultures that facilitate the transformative student experience – that's the goal of our work.”

Report authors recommend that HSIs use the data tool, which is embedded in the report, to better understand their own data and benchmark themselves with other institutions. They also recommend that philanthropists consider adopting Scott’s approach to gift giving, which centers on trusting institutional leaders, unrestricted gift giving, and investing in Latinx-focused organizations.

The report can be found here.

About the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions 

The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) brings together researchers and practitioners from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. CMSI’s goals include: elevating the educational contributions of MSIs; ensuring that they are a part of national conversations; bringing awareness to the vital role MSIs play in the nation’s economic development; increasing the rigorous scholarship of MSIs; connecting MSIs’ academic and administrative leadership to promote reform initiatives; and strengthening efforts to close educational achievement gaps among disadvantaged communities. The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions is part of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity and Justice (Proctor Institute) at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. For further information about CMSI, please visit

Tuesday, October 4, 2022
Press Release type: