HIGHER EDUCATION ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS CALL ON CONGRESS TO PASS THE FUTURE ACT BEFORE SEPTEMBER 30TH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, DC (September 3, 2019) – Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) president & CEO Dr. Harry L. Williams is joined today by the presidents and CEOs of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, and United Negro College Fund, jointly calling on the U.S. Congress to pass the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act before September 30th to avoid the expiration of critical funds to their member-schools.

The FUTURE Act continues critically-needed funds for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions (ANNHs), Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Native American-Serving, Nontribal Institutions (NASNTIs), Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs), and Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCUs), which are set to expire on September 30, 2019. Without the continuation of this funding (Title III-Part F of the Higher Education Act of 1965), these institutions are facing a $255 million fiscal “cliff,” which could result in the loss of jobs and programming for the institutions, and the loss of material support for their students, most of whom are low-income or first-generation college students, or both.

Collectively these diverse institutions represent 42 states and account for more than one-quarter of all undergraduates in our nation’s undergraduate system.

Title III Part F funding is vital federal financial support which helps eligible colleges and universities expand their capacity to serve their students through the strengthening of their academic programming, including STEM, enhancement of their fiscal stability and improvement of their institutional management.

“For several months the Thurgood Marshall College Fund has been working aggressively behind the scenes on behalf of not only our 47 member-schools but all MSIs to find a way to preserve this important funding,” said Harry L. Williams, president & CEO, TMCF. “We are proud to have worked cooperatively with the other higher education advocacy organizations as a united front, fighting for the passage of the FUTURE Act. It is critical that Congress heed the collective call of our organizations who represent the voices of nearly 4 million students in America – and expeditiously pass the FUTURE Act. We must ensure our country continues to properly invest in the students who will be the drivers of the nation’s economic prosperity for decades to come.”

“At Tribal Colleges and Universities, Title III-Part F funding has been the means for building a foundation for American Indian and Alaska Native postsecondary success and targeted workforce development – both essential elements for community prosperity,” said Carrie Billy, president & CEO, American Indian Higher Education Consortium. “Now – as TCUs and tribal communities now are positioning to sustain these essential programs – is exactly the wrong time to withdraw support. Many important but still vulnerable TCU programs will end entirely and considerable investment will be lost if Congress does not act swiftly to save the Title III-Part F program. We urge Congress to protect the future for all Americans — including the first Americans – by enacting the FUTURE Act this month.”

“For the past decade Title III, Part F of the Higher Education Act has played a vital role in enhancing the STEM pipeline at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and expanding institutional capacity at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Predominantly Black Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions. For instance, HSIs account for 15 percent of institutions of higher education yet produce 40 percent of STEM bachelor’s degrees earned by Hispanic students,” said Antonio R. Flores, president and CEO, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. “As the nation becomes increasingly diverse and the number of our institutions continues to grow, federal funding for these schools is more important than ever to ensure that we prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s jobs. Congress needs to pass the FUTURE Act before the program’s authority expires on September 30th.”

“Title III-F of the Higher Education Act of 1965 is key to sustaining an excellent, diverse labor force,” said the Honorable Lezli Baskerville, president & CEO, The National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO). “With Labor Day now in the rearview mirror, this provision, known as the lifeblood of HBCUs, AANAPISIs, HSIs, TCUs, and PBIs, is set to sunset on September 30th unless Congress takes action to extend it before that time. To ensure that HBCUs and MSIs, are strong, and possess the institutional capacity for the increasing credentialing and degree attainment demands they are experiencing, including in important growth and high need fields essential for a prosperous and diverse labor force, and a just nation, extending Title IIIF before September 30th must be the top priority of all Americans in the labor force and those seeking to join the labor force or service corps. Urge Congress to return to Washington to pass the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act.”

“With vital funds expiring on September 30th that would aid HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs in providing STEM education on their campuses, the time to act is now,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF (United Negro College Fund, Inc). “Congress must pass the FUTURE Act to secure this important funding and continue to send a clear message that providing a quality STEM education to students of color to diversify our workforce in the STEM professions is a priority. To further this work, UNCF launched a campaign called, ‘Protecting Our FUTURE,’ and it is my hope that Members of Congress act with urgency to pass this important bill.”

If passed, this bill will simply extend, for an additional two years, the mandatory portion of Title III funding (Title III, Part F), currently set to expire on September 30, 2019, at current funding levels.

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ABOUT THE THURGOOD MARSHALL COLLEGE FUND
Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member-schools include the publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominantly Black Institutions, enrolling nearly 80% of all students attending black colleges and universities. Through scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs, and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in the K-12 and higher education space. The organization is also the source of top employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and good jobs.

TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization. For more information about TMCF, visit: www.tmcf.org.