The University of California at Merced has been designated a Hispanic-serving institution under the guidelines of the U.S. Department of Education. The designation certifies an enrollment of at least 25 percent Hispanic students and is critical for obtaining grants and other funding for purposes such as student support services, faculty development, scientific and laboratory equipment and renovation of instructional facilities. UC Merced joins UC Riverside as the only two University of California campuses to receive the HSI designation. Thirty-two percent of UC Merced undergraduate students are Hispanic. Asians account for 33 percent, whites, 22 percent and blacks, 7 percent. UC Merced has the highest percentage of first-generation students, meaning neither parent has a four-year degree, in the UC system.