The HBCU Effect: Why We Invest

UNCF was initially founded to provide much needed financial support for struggling HBCUs. Today, we provide 37 historically black colleges and universities with a range of support that enables them to maintain high-quality academic programs while keeping tuitions low. Over the last decade, UNCF has awarded over 54,000 scholarships to the nation’s HBCUs, and distributed over $166 million in scholarships.

Many HBCU students come from very low-income backgrounds, and are often the first in their family to go to college. In the unique environment of an HBCU, they are able to banish self-limiting beliefs and excel in a highly competitive world — HBCUs give their students the audacity to lead.

HBCUs are valuable to all of us, not just their students. Each investment made in, or by, an HBCU and its students has significant “ripple effects” across a much wider area. That means heightened economic activity. More jobs. Stronger growth. Stronger communities. Better futures for all.

Together, UNCF and HBCUs give black students the power to achieve what others told them to never dream of. Join us to provide all students with a chance to succeed:

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The Threat


The future of HBCUs is far from certain. The increasing costs of providing an education combined with declining availability of financial aid for students and lack of funding from the federal government have put many schools — and their students — at risk. Seventy percent of HBCU students come from low-income backgrounds and depend on Pell Grants in order to afford a college education. But President Trump’s proposed FY18 budget calls for $5.2 billion in funding cuts for the Pell Grant program. These cuts could destroy the college dreams of more than seven million students and have sweeping impacts on America’s economy and global competitiveness.

The Audacity to Take Action: What You Can Do Right Now

Contact your members of congress — it only takes a few clicks — and tell them to reject any attempts to cut funding for vital education programs. Now, more than ever, we should be investing in higher education, not putting up more barriers to access.

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“Being from Birmingham, AL, I never really thought black people could aspire to more than just working at a plant job or warehouse job, but thanks to my time at Stillman, I see the sky is the limit. Stillman has opened my eyes to see that life has much more to offer me, and I can accomplish what I put my mind to.”

Victor Christian, Class of 2017, Stillman College