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Senate Passes Funding for HBCUs

HBCU FundingThe United States Senate passed a funding bill Dec. 5 that is critical to historically black colleges and universities, tribal colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions, including Norfolk State.

The Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education Act (FUTURE Act) is a bipartisan effort that renewed funding that expired September 30. The U.S. House of Representatives passed its legislation in mid-September. The money is federally mandated.

According to U.S. News and World Report, the agreement will make the annual $255 million funding permanent. It also does away with annual paperwork that borrowers enrolled in income-based student loan repayment plans must complete and streamlines the federal student aid application.

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, who represents Virginia and is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, applauded Senate passage of the FUTURE Act.

“I’m thrilled the Senate was able to find a compromise and pass our bill to support HBCUs in Virginia and across the country. This funding demonstrates that we’re committed to the students who are doing fantastic work at schools like VUU, VSU, Hampton, Norfolk State, and Virginia University of Lynchburg. By keeping our promise to America’s HBCUs, we can help ensure these institutions remain strong for generations to come,” said Kaine.

The House must now vote to move the amended legislation forward.

Norfolk State University President Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston reacted to the passage and explained its importance.

“The United States Senate passed an amendment to the FUTURE Act that will extend mandatory Title III funding for ten years,” she said. “For Norfolk State University, this represents more than $5.8 million in federal funding for our teacher preparation and STEM programs. NSU expresses appreciation to Senators Tim Kaine, Mark Warner and Congressman Bobby Scott for standing with Virginia’s HBCUs and urges the members of the House of Representatives to pass this legislation and send it to the President’s desk without delay.”