Trump Signs Future Act To Help HBCUs, Minority-Serving Institutions

Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent @StacyBrownMedia | 1/3/2020, 6 a.m.
The President put his signature on the Future Act, legislation that for the time includes HBCUs in the federal 5-year ...

One day after the House impeached him, President Donald Trump took decisive action to support and empower Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the country.

The President put his signature on the Future Act, legislation that for the time includes HBCUs in the federal 5-year STEM Education Plan and the National Research and Development Budget Priorities.

“When I took office, I promised to fight for HBCUs, and my Administration continues to deliver,” Trump stated.

“A few months ago, funding for HBCUs was in jeopardy. But the White House and Congress came together and reached a historic agreement. For the first time ever, I signed legislation to permanently fund HBCUs and other institutions that primarily serve first-generation and minority students. This action guarantees more than $2.5 billion over the next 10 years, including $850 million specifically for HBCUs,” the President stated.

He continued:

“Today’s achievement continues my unprecedented commitment to HBCUs. During my first weeks in office, I moved the HBCU initiative, led by Johnathan Holifield, to the White House and worked with Congress to increase funding for HBCUs by more than $100 million. HBCUs have never had better champions in the White House.

“The bill I signed today also reforms the Free Application for Federal StudentAid, or FAFSA. The Internal Revenue Service will now seamlessly transfer applicants’ records to the Department of Education, so that families can use a simpler, shorter application for financial aid and those with student loans do not have to complete a cumbersome income certification process year after year.

“This is a transformative change that has been talked about in Washington for more than a decade, but everyone always said it could not be done. We got it done.”

HBCUs will now play an essential part in federal planning to advance bold, transformational leaps in science and technology to ensure America remains the global leader in science and technology for generations to come, White House officials said in a release.

With the bill's signing, Trump also established the inaugural HBCU Colors Day, which encourages HBCU supporters from across the country to wear HBCU apparel to show their support for HBCU institutions.

The Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education – or Future Act – means that, under the President's administration, investment in HBCU programs has significantly increased under Title III of the Higher Education Action of 1965.

This includes:

• A $35 million increase in the Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program ($279.6 million);

• A $9 million increase in the Strengthening Historically Black Graduate Institutions ($72.3 million);

• A $1 million increase in the Strengthening HBCU Masters Programs ($8.6 million);

• Meaningful increases investments in student support like Pell Grants, Federal Work-Study, and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG); and

• Increases in Howard University's annual appropriation by nearly $11 million, bringing its fiscal year 2018 investment level to $232.5 million.

• The bill also increased by $30 million in investments in the HBCU Capital Financing Program, helping eight schools experiencing financial difficulty in redesigning and restructuring to better meet student and community needs and fulfill loan obligations.