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UNCF Launches “Protecting Our Future” Campaign; Urges Congress to Save HBCU Federal Funding

“Institutions are on the brink of losing access to $2.55 billion dollars to support STEM education, and the time to act is now.”

Today, UNCF launched a campaign called “Protecting our FUTURE” to support the joint bicameral, bipartisan bill known as the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act. This campaign serves as a grassroots initiative to encourage all supporters of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), STEM education, and low-income, first generation college students to call and write their Members of Congress to encourage them to support, cosponsor, and pass the FUTURE Act.

“I am proud to announce that UNCF is officially launching a targeted campaign to support STEM education at our nation’s HBCUs, Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and other Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs),” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO. “These institutions are on the brink of losing access to $2.55 billion dollars to support STEM education, and the time to act is now.”

“This one bill represents $85 million a year to HBCUs. Collectively, all MSIs have $255 million annually at risk,” said Lodriguez V. Murray, UNCF’s vice president of Public Policy and Government Affairs. “Not only have these institutions benefited from this funding over the last 12 years, but every vote taken on this issue has had the support of both Republicans and Democrats. It is our hope that both parties will come together, once again, to support and pass this important piece of legislation. We only have 43 days before this funding expires, and no one wants to see HBCUs, MSIs, and their students receive less federal funding.”

Senators Doug Jones (D-AL) and Tim Scott (R-SC), and Representatives Alma Adams (D-NC) and Mark Walker (R-NC), introduced the FUTURE Act to extend the much-needed mandatory funding in Title III, Part F of the Higher Education Act of 1965 until Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 for HBCUs, HSIs, TCUs, and MSIs. These mandatory funds supplement institutional aid to these institutions with a priority on instructional programs in high-demand fields, including science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), computer sciences, nursing, and allied health.

These mandatory funds were originally established by the College Cost and Reduction Act for the years of 2008-2009, retained in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, and then extended until 2019 in the Health Care Education and Reconciliation Act of 2010.

These funds are set to expire on September 30, 2019, unless Congress acts before that time.

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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, 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 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF awards more than $100 million in scholarships annually and administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in.”® Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities. Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous news and updates, follow UNCF on Twitter @UNCF.