Congress passes FUTURE Act to help fund HBCUs, MSIs
Special to the Outlook
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Al Lawson recently joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress for the enrollment signing of H.R. 2486, the Fostering Undergraduate Talent Using Resources for Education Act. The bipartisan proposal would make permanent $255 million in annual funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and other Minority-Serving Institutions, as well as simplifying the Free Application for Federal Student Aid by eliminating up to 22 questions and allowing the Internal Revenue Service to share applicants’ tax information directly with the U.S. Department of Education.
The FUTURE Act would also eliminate paperwork for federal student loan borrowers who use income-based repayment plans.
“Millions of our nation’s best and brightest students rely on FUTURE Act funding to create pathways of opportunity for millions of Americans, many of whom are first generation college students,” said Lawson. “In Florida’s 5th District, these funds will help to propel students at Florida A&M University and Edward Waters College for the high-tech, high-wage jobs of the future.”
The FUTRE Act would provide the following:
• $85 million annually to HBCUs; and $15 million to PBIs, respectively
• HSIs would continue to receive $100 million in competitive grants
• American Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs) would receive $30 million.
• Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions (ANNHs) would receive $15 million.
• Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) would receive $15 million.
• Native American-Serving, Nontribal Institutions (NASNTIs) would receive $5 million.
MSIs serve nearly four million students, accounting for more than one-quarter of all undergraduates. These institutions enroll a significant share of all students of color. For example, Hispanic Serving Institutions account for 13 percent of all non-profit colleges and universities, and yet enroll 60 percent of all Hispanic students. Similarly, these schools disproportionately enroll low-income students – two-thirds of students at HBCUs and more than half of students at Tribal Colleges or Universities (TCUs) receive Pell Grants, compared to only 38 percent of all students.
“As our country becomes increasingly diverse, federal funding for these schools is more important than ever,” Rep. Lawson said. “As an graduate of FAMU, I understand first-hand the power of these institutions. The FUTURE Act will help to extend that privilege for generations to come.”