TMCF Statement on HBCU Investments in the Biden Administration

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Washington, DC, May 17, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) expresses its appreciation for the historic investments and tremendous strides that the Biden Administration has made over the past three years as it relates to its support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

“The Biden Administration, unlike any other presidential administration before it, has broken barriers regarding being intentional about investing in HBCUs and their students,” said TMCF President and CEO Dr. Harry L. Williams.  “Both the President and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona have been cognizant about providing the requisite support to address our unique challenges while also leveraging our strengths in ways that benefit the nation as a whole.”

Over the course of the past three years, through the work of the Biden Administration with the support of Congress, HBCUs have seen tremendous progress as it relates to increases in Title III discretionary funding, which supports capacity building efforts at HBCUs.  Additionally, the Biden Administration has consistently requested significant increases in the President’s recommended budgets for all student aid programs including the Pell grant program, Work Study program and the Federal Supplemental Equal Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program.  Increases in these programs, while benefiting low-income students regardless of where they attend, have an outsized impact on HBCUs, who specialize in serving students with high levels of financial need.

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In regards to research investment, the administration is to be specifically applauded for making history by awarding the first-ever University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) to Howard University in 2023 and for developing and advocating for the HBCU MSI Research and Development Infrastructure fund which has invested $50 million dollars each of the last two years into the research infrastructure at HBCUs and Minority Serving Institutions.  The administration is also to be lauded for its engagement on the issue of the historic underfunding of our publicly-supported HBCUs at a state level, which is a problem most acute at, but not unique to our 1890 Land-Grant institutions.

Beyond these accomplishments, there are several areas in which we hope to continue to work with the Biden Administration going forward, including with respect to the policy proposal to require all universities with over a $1 billion endowment to subcontract at least 10% of their federal contracts with an HBCU or MSI.  More active engagement of our schools in the federal government’s research and development (R&D) enterprise is critical to ensuring institutional sustainability and keeping our nation globally competitive in the second half of the 21st Century.  

We also look forward to continuing the momentum towards the goal of doubling the Pell Grant despite such funding being held flat for 2024-25 academic year, particularly given the recent inflationary pressures forcing most schools to increase tuition for the upcoming school year.

We look forward to continuing to work with the Biden Administration and Congressional leadership on both sides of the aisle for the continued benefit of HBCUs and their students going forward.

About the Thurgood Marshall College Fund

Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member schools include the publicly supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Historically Black Community Colleges, and Predominantly Black Institutions, enrolling nearly 80% of all students attending Black colleges and universities. Through scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs, and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in the K-12 and higher education space. The organization is also the source of top employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and good jobs. TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization. For more information about TMCF, visit www.tmcf.org.

CONTACT: Dr. Clara Ross Stamps The Thurgood Marshall College Fund 240-931-0696 [email protected] 

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