The Threat


HBCUs remain in a financially uncertain environment. With the expiration of the Higher Education Act (HEA), Congress has begun conversations to reauthorize this law. Having been expired since FY 2014, a number of programs benefitting HBCUs and the students they serve are in jeopardy of being altered and having negative impacts on both parties. HBCUs are at the whim of Congress to keep important programs such as the Strengthening HBCUs institutional aid program; HBCU Capital Financing program; Mandatory Strengthening HBCUs program; and the various campus-based aid programs afloat. Also, in the President’s FY2019 budget request, the majority of funding for HBCUs and programs that directly benefit low income students was decreased. At a time when student debt is over $1 trillion and college costs are ever increasing, it is imperative we keep our vulnerable students at the forefront of our minds when deciding on policies that impact them. With potential harmful modifications to the expired law coupled with an administration that has proposed to decrease education funding, the future of HBCUs is far from certain.

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 Audacity to Make a Difference: The Value of HBCUs

UNCF’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute commissioned a landmark study titled, “HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” This study found that HBCUs have a total economic impact of $14.8 billion while generating over 130,000 jobs nationwide and producing graduates with an earning potential of $130 billion.

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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