Grand Valley State University was one of only nine colleges or universities recognized nationally for their commitment to serve Latino students.

The Seal of Excelencia was awarded last month from the Washington, D.C.-based organization, Excelencia in Education. The group aims to close the education equity gap and increase the number of Latino students who attain college degrees. This is the first year for the award.

At GVSU, Latino student enrollment has increased 16.2 percent since 2015-2016. Latino graduation rates have increased more than 16 percent over the same time. Grand Valley ranks third among schools in Michigan for the number of Latino students earning bachelor's degrees.

Grand Valley is the only university from this region of the country to receive the award. The other winners are:

• Arizona State University

• Austin Community College (Texas)

• California State University Channel Islands

• El Paso Community College (Texas)

• Florida International University

• South Texas College

• University of Arizona

• University of Texas El Paso