FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TMCF Media Contact:
WASHINGTON, DC (March 11, 2019) – Today, the Trump Administration released its Budget Blueprint for fiscal year 2020. In light of the proposed across-the-board budget cuts, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) appreciates the Trump Administration’s continued commitment to level fund Title III discretionary funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
However, TMCF believes several proposed cuts could have a detrimental impact on our students’ and prospective students’ ability to enroll, persist and graduate from our nation’s HBCUs. Most notable are the Administration’s proposals to eliminate the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program and to cease providing any mandatory Title III funding, which represents an approximately $80 million fiscal cliff for HBCUs. For instance, the FSEOG program remains a critical component of financial support for HBCU students, over 90% of whom receive some form, if not multiple forms, of federal financial assistance to attend college. Additionally, we are concerned by the proposed cuts to the Federal Work-Study program, which is another area of critical financial support for HBCU students. Mandatory Title III funding remains a critical component to the sustainability of our nation’s HBCUs and we urge Congress to maintain this necessary funding.
TMCF proudly has three predominantly black institutions (PBI) member-schools and requests that Congress maintain the existing funding mechanism to support our nation’s PBIs and refrain from consolidating PBIs into the proposed “Consolidated MSI Grant” program. Furthermore, HBCUs and PBIs have a legacy of serving the underserved and enrolling high numbers of Pell recipients. Because the proposed budget essentially freezes the Maximum Pell Award, we encourage Congress to increase the Maximum Pell Award above the current funding level.
TMCF appreciates the Congress’ efforts to increase funding, since 2017, for key HBCU programs such as Title III Strengthening HBCU and HBGI programs, the Department of Defense’s HBCU Minority Serving Institutions Program and most recently, reauthorizing the HBCU Historic Preservation program. Maintaining funding for these critical programs, in addition to funding year-round Pell and reauthorizing funding for Title III, Part F are top priorities for TMCF in fiscal year 2020.
TMCF will continue to work with the White House Initiative on HBCUs, the Department of Education, the Bipartisan and Bicameral Congressional HBCU Caucus, and the Congressional Black Caucus to ensure our nation’s HBCUs continue to survive and thrive.
ABOUT THE THURGOOD MARSHALL COLLEGE FUND (TMCF)
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 PK-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.