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Biden Administration Stresses HBCU Importance to Congress

·4 min read

On the day the President's FY 2023 budget was sent to Congress, UNCF began meetings with congressional leaders

Washington, D.C., March 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- President Joseph R. Biden released his FY 2023 budget request today, seeking to make good on his State of the Union promise to sufficiently fund historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

After studying the budget, UNCF (United Negro College Fund) announces its support, and on behalf of all our member-institution HBCUs we ask Congress to accept the HBCU investments wholly, making no reductions in their annual appropriations process this year. We made this request on the first day of the week-long series of meetings where HBCU leaders joined with the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus co-chaired by Rep. Alma Adams, UNCF and Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) officials to ask for Congress' support for their priorities via the HBCU STEAM Days of Action.

"Once again, I note President Biden following up on his intentions," said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF. "For the second year in a row, the president's budget to Congress makes strong investments in HBCUs and the students that we serve. I call on every congressional leader who values education to take every single investment proposed by the president and make sure it is included in the final law. These investments are needed, and it is past time they should be signed into statute."

"For the second year in a row, President Biden has asked that the Department of Education dedicated funding to HBCUs is well funded," said Lodriguez V. Murray, UNCF senior vice president for public policy and government affairs. "Earlier this month when Congress passed its FY 2022 appropriations bills, many HBCU and UNCF priorities were increased, but Congress did not meet President Biden's aspirational increases. We were on the path to finally receiving our long due and proper level of Education funding last year; and despite the congressional increase we did receive, we did not meet the mark in President Biden's budget for FY 2022. We are asking Congress to make no reductions but live up to the President's funding numbers this year. Our institutions deserve it, and so do our students.

"UNCF supports the President's call to increase the Department of Education by 15%," Murray continued. "As part of that, the administration is calling for the HBCU funding which all 100-plus HBCUs share to be increased by $65 million to finally meet the authorized level of funding. This is UNCF's top priority. Additionally, the request for the Pell Grant to be increased by $2,000 in the upcoming year is nothing short of landmark. If Congress follows through on President Biden's UNCF supported request, it would be the largest single year increase to the Pell Grant, put us on course to double the Pell Grant this decade, and be one of the biggest game changers for low to moderate income students in our country in modern times."

UNCF and their HBCU presidents met today with House Majority Whip James E. "Jim Clyburn as part of the STEAM Days of Action. This week other meetings will include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro and many more. The goal will be to ensure congressional leaders understand the needs of HBCUs from a funding perspective as well as how the chambers can better equip the institutions to respond to the bomb threats which have plagued them in 2022.

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About UNCF

UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically Black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20% of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, ‟A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.

CONTACT: Monique LeNoir United Negro College Fund, Inc. (UNCF) 202-810-0231 monique.lenoir@uncf.org