Biden-Harris Administration pledges unprecedented $16 billion in aid for Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration has introduced a groundbreaking level of Federal funding and investments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) exceeding a remarkable $16 billion from Fiscal Years (FY) 2021 through current data for FY 2024. This surpasses the previously announced over $7 billion and encompasses significant additional measures already implemented. The total surpassing $16 billion incorporates more than $11.4 billion between FY2021 and FY2023 through Federal grants, contracting awards, and debt relief for HBCUs; in excess of $4 billion between FY2021 and FY2023 for HBCU-enrolled students through federal financial aid and educational benefits for veterans; and, thus far in FY 2024, over $900 million has been allocated for Department of Education programs fortifying HBCUs as institutions. President Biden and Vice President Harris are dedicated to maintaining comprehensive government investment efforts in HBCUs with full energy throughout the remainder of FY 2024.

These groundbreaking funding levels exhibit the ongoing commitment of the Administration to HBCUs, which act as catalysts for upward economic mobility in the nation. The Administration is also focused on ensuring that HBCUs have the resources required to deliver high-quality postsecondary education.

For over 180 years, HBCUs have been driving intergenerational economic mobility for Black families and communities, fostering crucial academic research, and enhancing the prosperity and equity of our nation. Despite comprising only 3% of colleges and universities, HBCUs play a significant role in advancing the economic mobility of African Americans, producing 40% of all Black engineers, 50% of all Black teachers, 70% of all Black doctors and dentists, 80% of all Black judges, and the first woman and Black Vice President of the United States. Overall, HBCUs substantially contribute to the economic prosperity of America, offering college access to twice as many Pell Grant-eligible (low-income) students compared to non-HBCU institutions. Additionally, social mobility research by the United Negro College Fund reveals that HBCUs support nearly five times more students than Ivy League and other top-ranked institutions in facilitating movement from the bottom 40% in U.S. household income to the top 60%.

A CEA report released today further underscores that HBCUs serve as engines for upward mobility and also discusses new research indicating that HBCU enrollment has significant positive impacts on bachelor’s degree completion and household income in the future. The report elaborates on how these accomplishments have transpired within the context of the historical underfunding of HBCUs. Moreover, it highlights a recent resurgence in applications to and enrollment in HBCUs, illustrating the substantial value that students have placed on these institutions in recent years.

Since Inception, the Biden-Harris Administration has pledged to advance racial equity, economic opportunity, and educational excellence, including the reestablishment of the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Between FY 2021 – FY 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration has implemented groundbreaking actions to support HBCUs:

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