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The Thurgood Marshall College Fund has applauded the U.S. Congress 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.

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“The investments included in this bill again demonstrate the commitment that Congress and the Biden Administration have to HBCUs and their students,” said Thurgood Marshall College Fund 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 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 TRIO programs, such as Educational Opportunity Centers, Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement, Student Support Services, Talent Search,  Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math-Science, Veterans Upward Bound.

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program also saw increases. The grant is for undergraduate students with exceptional financial needs and is administered directly by the financial aid office at each participating school.

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 advocating for the loosening of restrictions on the use of Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds for HBCUs, PBIs, and other MSIs that would allow schools to use those funds to tackle pressing infrastructure needs on their campuses.

Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (D-WA) and Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC) took the lead on this initiative.

“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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