TMCF Applauds the HBCU Investments in the Build Better Back Act

10/28, 11:56 PM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) applauds the HBCU-related investments in the Build Back Better Act and calls on Congress to pass the bill expeditiously.

The Build Back Better Act invests $3 billion in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) creating a new Research and Development Competitive Grant Program in the Department of Education that is specifically designed to help our institutions increase research capacity. Importantly, the language of the Build Back Better Act makes it clear that like institutions will only be competing against like institutions for these funds, a top priority for TMCF. TMCF is pleased to have played a key role in ensuring that HBCUs, in particular, received the requisite infrastructure funding to build capacity on campus and address unmet needs.

The Build Back Better Act also includes a historic $6 billion increase in Title III and Title V funds for HBCUs and MSIs, which more than triples annual funding for HBCUs and MSIs, while also increasing the maximum Pell Grant award by $550 per student.

In addition to the important investments to HBCUs via programs in the Department of Education, the Build Back Better Act also invests $1 billion in an infrastructure program that will benefit our 1890 Land Grant Institutions and $100 million in scholarship funds for students pursuing agriculture careers at those same institutions.

“The Build Back Better Act represents a truly historic investment in HBCUs and their students,” said Dr. Harry L. Williams, President and CEO of TMCF. “Over the last several months, TMCF and the greater HBCU community have made our priorities clear to the administration and Congress, including prioritizing investing in research infrastructure at HBCUs and ensuring that HBCUs are not competing with better-heeled Minority Serving Institutions for funding. The bill is not only responsive to our priorities but increases the funding in the Research and Development Competitive Grant Program from the $2 billion proposed in September to $3 billion in this version of the bill.  Additionally, the $6 billion increase in Title III and Title V funding represents a tripling of funding for our institutions over the next 5 years.  The expansion of HBCU investments in the Build Back Better Act, while many other truly laudable programs were either pared back or eliminated during negotiations, is a testament to the impact of our advocacy, the importance of our institutions to American higher education, and the strength of the relationships that we have established both within the Biden Administration and on Capitol Hill.  We are extremely grateful to the Biden Administration, Senate Health Education and Labor Chairwoman Patty Murray, House Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott and HBCU Caucus Founder and Co-Chair Dr. Alma Adams for being steadfast supporters of our nation’s HBCUs.”

TMCF looks forward to working with Congress and the Biden Administration to get the Build Back Better Act through Congress and signed by the President.

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Thurgood Marshall College Fund
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