UNCF Applauds Passage of the Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act

The House of Representatives yesterday passed H.R. 1635, the Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act. This bill was led by Education and Workforce Subcommittee Chairman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), who also serves on the committee. This bill passed the House floor by an overwhelming majority (406-6) and seeks to enhance student financial aid counseling.

“UNCF applauds the passage of H.R. 1635, and we are encouraged by the strong bi-partisan support for the bill,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF. “UNCF has consistently championed more robust financial aid counseling that will ensure that students understand their rights and responsibilities under federal financial aid programs—especially loans.  HBCU students are disproportionately low-income, first-generation college attenders, who have only limited family experience navigating the complex maze of college-financing programs. While over 70 percent are eligible for Pell grants, these students disproportionately have to take out loans to cover direct educational costs and living expenses. It is imperative that these students get the timely and thorough financial aid counseling provided in H.R. 1635.

“UNCF annually provides scholarships to more than 10,000 students valued at nearly $100 million. We know that all students, even those receiving private scholarship support like ours, need thorough and comprehensive financial aid counseling to ensure that they borrow prudently, only when necessary, and amounts that are not burdensome to repay,” said Lomax.

H.R. 1635 was originally introduced in the 113th Congress and reintroduced in the 114th Congress. The bill has proven to be a bipartisan measure since inception and now lies in the hands of the Senate. To learn more about this piece of legislation, please click here.


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, 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 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF awards more than $100 million in scholarships annually and administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in.”® Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities. Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous news and updates, follow UNCF on Twitter @UNCF.