Title III Mandatory Letter to Alexander and Murray For Approval

February 27, 2019

The Honorable Lamar Alexander
U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions

The Honorable Patty Murray
Ranking Member
U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions

Dear Senators Alexander and Murray,

As negotiations continue on the Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA), The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) strongly encourages Congress to ensure that mandatory funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), under Title III, Part F, of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, is renewed prior to the currently scheduled expiration date of September 30, 2019, whether as part of a comprehensive HEA Reauthorization bill or as stand-alone legislation.

Title III funding is of critical importance for the sustainability and growth of HBCUs. Such funding provides necessary financial assistance to HBCUs for the repair, replacement or enhancement our respective institution’s physical plants, ensuring financial stability, improving academic expertise and instruction and otherwise building institutional capacity.

As you are aware, HBCUs play a critical-role in helping to maintain America’s competitiveness globally, while also serving as economic engines in many of the communities in which they are located. HBCUs enroll over 300,000 students and graduate over 50,000 students on an annual basis, while serving a disproportionate number of first-generation and low-income students.

Established in 1987, TMCF serves the largest number of schools and students of any organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member-schools include both publicly-supported HBCUs and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs).

While we at TMCF acknowledge that a permanent extension of mandatory Title III funds within a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act is an optimal solution – we encourage Congress to consider all options, including stand-alone legislation, to reach a bipartisan agreement to prevent these critical funds from expiring on September 30th.

We look forward to working with each of you and your respective staffs to ensure that this funding is preserved and ensure that our HBCUs not only continue to survive, but thrive.


Dr. Harry L. Williams
President & CEO