Strength can be found in numbers, and we need your help to save the FUTURE of STEM education at our nation’s HBCUs.

Mandatory funding for HBCUs has expired due to the Senate failing to pass the FUTURE Act, a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on September 17, 2019, but the fight does not stop here! We must continue to put pressure on the Senate to pass the FUTURE Act now!

Congress introduced the FUTURE Act to save the future of STEM education at our Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The FUTURE Act not only extends vital funding from the federal government for HBCUs but also extends funding for Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) and other Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) to help them also offer quality academic programs in the STEM fields.

Education is the key to all success in the United States and HBCUs punch well above their weight not only in their impact on their local communities but also in their states by ensuring that low-income, first generation college students are prepared to succeed. According to an economic impact report produced by UNCF, the impact of HBCUs on their regional economies included an employment impact of 134,090 jobs; a work-life earnings of $130 billion for HBCU students; and a total economic impact of $14.8 billion.

Furthermore, HBCUs represent 8.5% of the four-year institutions across the 21 states and territories they are located in. Of these states and territories, HBCUs enroll, on average, 24% of all black undergraduates pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a college or university; graduate 26% of all black bachelor’s degree recipients; and award 32% of STEM degrees to black students. In fact, across the entire country, HBCUs enroll 10% of the black undergraduates, produce 17% of all black college graduates with bachelor’s degrees and graduate 21% of black students with bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields.

HBCUs, TCUs, HSIs and other MSIs collectively serve over four million students, accounting for more than one-quarter of all undergraduates and a large share of all students of color. Funding for these programs expired on September 30, 2019. Because of this, these institutions have lost access to a 10-year funding amount of $2.55 billion dollars! The House of Representatives passed the FUTURE Act on September 17, 2019 to save our institutions from experiencing a lapse in funding, but the Senate did not follow suit. The livelihood of STEM education at these institutions is in jeopardy, and it is up to the Senate to reinstate our funding.

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in.”® An investment in HBCUs and other MSIs is not only an investment in a better future for students, but a can’t-go-wrong investment in the economic health and energy of the United States.

Take Action

Send a Letter to the Senate

Dear Senator [Last Name]:

I’m writing to you today because, like so many of your constituents, I’m extremely concerned about the future of education in our country, especially access to higher education by minority communities.

I ask that you cosponsor, support, and pass the House-passed H.R. 2486, the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act sponsored by Representative Alma Adams and Representative Mark Walker. This bipartisan bill was written to extend important mandatory funding for education in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the disciplines that exist in the Higher Education Act of 1965, until September 30, 2021.

This law, as you know, benefits Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and other Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) by providing mandatory funds that allow these institutions to better serve their students in the STEM fields. STEM education, the inventive and creative power it reveals, is crucial to the growth and continued development of our economy.

The House passed this bill on September 17th, and this stream of funding expired on September 30, 2019, providing a loss of funding totaling $2.55 billion over the last 10 years. It is imperative that this bill passes the Senate and become law to reinstate funding for our HBCUs, TCUs, HSIs, and other MSIs.

I urge you to cosponsor, support, and pass the House-passed H.R. 2486 and continue to provide much-needed opportunities to students who are often overlooked.

[OPTION TO ADD PERSONAL STORY]

Sincerely,

[FIRST NAME] [LAST NAME]
[ZIP CODE]

Call Your Senator

Here’s all you need to do:

  1. Enter your phone number, state and zip code in the form below and click “Prepare for First Call!”
  2. You’ll hear a message from us and then we’ll connect you to your Senators offices.
  3. Using the call script provided after you enter your information below, you are going to tell the staff member who answers that you overall support HBCUs, support STEM funding for these institutions and expect your Senators to support, cosponsor and pass the FUTURE Act.
  4. That’s all you need to say! If you have a personal story you think could impact the Senators’ decision, you can share that also.

This work is crucial.
Please support UNCF.

For more than 75 years, we’ve awarded student scholarships, provided financial support to HBCUs and served as the nation’s leading advocate for the importance of minority education and community engagement. We’ve helped more than 500,000 students not just gain access to college, but thrive, graduate and become leaders. However, we can only support one out of every 10 students who apply for assistance. Your generous tax-deductible gift can help to encourage students who are pursuing their degrees.