TMCF PRAISES CONGRESS AND THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION FOR INVESTMENTS IN HBCUs AND LOW-INCOME STUDENTS IN THE OMNIBUS APPROPRIATIONS BILL

Washington, District of Columbia, UNITED STATES


Washington, March 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) applauds Congress and the Biden Administration for making historic investments into Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and low-income students in the FY22 Omnibus Appropriations (budget) Bill signed by President Biden today.

The FY 22 Omnibus Appropriations Bill includes $885 million, an increase of $96 million over the FY 2021 enacted level, to assist HBCUs, Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) in the Aid for Institutional Development account, including $363 million for Title III programs at HBCUs and an increase of $25 million over FY21 enacted levels and a $400 increase of the maximum Pell Grant award to $6,895. Other material changes include increases to: (i) TRIO; (ii) the FSEOG Grant program; and (iii) the Federal Work Study Program. Additionally, the budget includes historic investments in 1890 Land Grant Universities by appropriating $80 million in the Evans-Allen Research Program, an increase of $18 million over FY21 enacted levels, and fully funds both the 1890 Centers of Excellence and 1890 Scholarship programs.

In addition to the funding increases included in the FY22 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, TMCF has taken the lead in recent months in advocating for the loosening of restrictions on the use of Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) for HBCUs, PBIs and other MSIs that would allow our schools to use those funds to tackle pressing infrastructure needs on their campuses. We are pleased that the bill includes language to loosen the restrictions on that funding and look forward to working with the Department of Education to promulgate new regulations that will allow our schools to better tackle the infrastructure challenges that they face. We are also thankful to Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (D-WA) and Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC) for taking the lead on this initiative. 

“The investments included in this bill again demonstrate the commitment that Congress and the Biden Administration have to HBCUs and their students,” said TMCF President and CEO Dr. Harry L. Williams. “We thank President Biden and his administration, congressional leaders in both parties who put together this bipartisan budget agreement and especially our allies in the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus for keeping our schools a top priority on Capitol Hill.”

“The House passed a government funding package that provides significant investments to lower the cost of college, support vulnerable institutions of higher education, and promote pathways to rewarding careers,” said House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-VA). “Specifically, the bill includes the largest increase in the maximum Pell Grant—the cornerstone of our student aid system—in more than a decade and secures a notable funding increase for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities, and Minority Serving Institutions. To promote skills for better paying jobs, the bill expands funding for Registered Apprenticeships. And importantly, for the first time we are establishing a Postsecondary Student Success Grant program to implement proven strategies to help students either stay in school or complete their degrees.”

“This week, Congress demonstrated a historic level of solidarity with our Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” said Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC), founder and co-chair of the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus. “That is why I am excited to announce that the Fiscal Year 2022 omnibus appropriations package further demonstrates our commitment to HBCUs. By strengthening financial support for HBCUs - including increasing Title III funds as well as Pell Grants - Congress is continuing to answer our call to turn words into action and make equity in higher education a reality.”

“As a graduate of Clark Atlanta University, I recognize the powerful impact that HBCUs have on the students and communities they serve when it comes to educational access and economic opportunity,” said Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (D-WA). “That is why I was proud to secure a provision in the omnibus appropriations package that allows HBCUs to utilize COVID relief funds to help preserve and sustain themselves for generations to come. We have a responsibility to invest in these historic institutions, and I look forward to President Biden signing this important provision into law.” 

“As a proud Morehouse College graduate and beneficiary of good education policy, I fought hard to secure investments to provide loans for our hardworking students, fund administrative costs, maximize Pell Grants, and strengthen STEM education at our HBCUs. I was proud to lead the bipartisan effort to strengthen funding for HBCU campus infrastructure, and I will continue championing federal investments in the Senate for our HBCUs to maximize their opportunities for success,” said Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock.

 

 

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