UNCF Media Statement: Trump Administration’s FY 2019 Budget Misses the Mark for HBCU Programs

Yesterday, the Trump Administration released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget framework, and UNCF contends that more of an effort should have been made to invest in domestic, discretionary programs that benefit African American and low-income students seeking higher education. “Higher education is the gateway to an equal and just society. The administration, and subsequently the Congress, must work together to invest in the futures of those who need educational opportunity the most. Over the next few months, I look forward to working with federal decision-makers to help them understand the needs of minority students and UNCF’s network of historically black colleges and universities,” said Dr. Michael Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF.

UNCF Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs Mr. Lodriguez Murray added, “The administration is to be commended for including the Title III Strengthening HBCUs program in the budget this year, but this is not a time for level funding. This is a time for investments. HBCUs graduate more than 50,000 students annually and require more resources to provide the graduates our nation needs by 2020 and beyond. These institutions are already demonstrating that at the current level of investments, collectively, the institutions yield nearly $15 billion in annual economic impact for our nation. Additional federal investments in the HBCU Title III program would help this network of institutions continue to create new on- and off-campus job opportunities and further investments in their surrounding communities. Pathway programs to college, like TRIO and GEAR-UP, should be restored so that students continue to have the doorway of college education open to them. The administration should encourage lawmakers to make student debt manageable, instead of this budget being used to push the ‘one loan, one grant’ concept. That is a debate the Congress must have when reauthorizing the Higher Education Act.”

UNCF calls on the 115th Congress to increase investments in the Title III HBCU program and restore programs that invest in minority and first-generation students in their appropriations bills. The new budget agreement reached last week should be used to increase investments in the students who most need the resources. This change would provide the best return on the federal education investment.

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About UNCF: 
UNCF 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 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees.  UNCF annually awards $100 million in scholarships and 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 more than 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 terrible thing to waste.”®  Learn more at UNCF.org, or for continuous news and updates, follow UNCF on Twitter, @UNCF and #HBCUsMatter.