President Proposes Historic Investment in American Families, Includes the HBCU Family

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Khalilah Long UNCF Communications 202.810.0241 khalilah.long@uncf.org

In addition to $45 billion for HBCUs and MSIs in the infrastructure package from last month, President Biden now proposes an additional $46 billion for those institutions in new Family Plan

Today, President Biden unveils his American Families Plan, a companion piece to his infrastructure American Jobs Plan introduced last month. The new American Families Plan proposes a significant increase in the maximum Pell Grant award for students needing the most assistance for higher education, a $39 billion subsidy of tuition for families with students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) or Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) for families earning up to $125,000 annually; an increase to the Title III Strengthening HBCUs grant program; and assistance to help build a diverse teacher pipeline. UNCF (United Negro College Fund) sees this proposed plan as a major boost to institutions that educate and support students of color.

“To finally see an administration invest in HBCUs as a recognition of African American people through the American Family Plan is appropriate, necessary, and the reason why I am calling on the U.S. Congress to put partisanship aside and pass this legislation,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF. “For too long, the explicit needs of African Americans have been overlooked in favor of the ‘rising tides floats all boats’ strategy. To make an impact that achieves equity, targeted assistance must be applied where it is needed the most. President Biden puts that forward today, and I commend him.”

“What you see in the infrastructure and American Families Plan is an administration actually working hard to make good on the promises on which they campaigned,” said Lodriguez V. Murray, senior vice president for public policy and government affairs, UNCF. “To prioritize the Pell Grant and HBCUs allows the American talent that most needs assistance to truly bubble up to the top. This shows careful attention to detail in policy making. That is why UNCF is in favor of both the infrastructure and jobs package as well as today’s American Families Plan.”

Some details of interest in American Families Plan include:

  • $85 billion investment in Pell Grants, which would help students seeking a certificate or a two- or four-year degree
    • Provides up to approximately $1,400 in additional assistance to low-income students by increasing the Pell Grant award
    • Among students of color, nearly 60 percent of Black, half of American Indian or Alaska Native, almost half of Latino, and over one-third of Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander students rely on Pell Grants to pay for college. The American Families Plan will increase the maximum Pell Grant award by approximately $1,400; a down payment on President Biden’s commitment to double the maximum award
  • Historic investment in HBCU, TCU and MSI affordability
    • Provides two years of tuition subsidies ($39 billion investment) and expanded programs in high-demand fields at HBCUs, TCUs and MSIs for families earning up to $125,000 annually
    • Additional $5 billion to expand Title III/existing institutional aid grants to HBCUs, TCUs and MSIs, which these institutions can use to strengthen their academic, administrative and fiscal capabilities, such as creating or expanding educational programs in high-demand fields (e.g., STEM, computer sciences, nursing and allied health)
    • An additional $2 billion directed towards building a pipeline of skilled health care workers with graduate degrees
  • $9 billion to train, equip and diversify American teachers in order to ensure that our high school graduates are ready for success
    • Scholarships for future teachers from $4,000 to $8,000 per year while earning their degree, and expanding the program to early childhood educators

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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, supports and 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% of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF 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 over 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 a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.