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Biden Administration Announces $16B in ‘Whole of Government’ Investments

While historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have received remarkable investments over the past few years, leaders with the nonpartisan, nonprofit United Negro College Fund are urging more can be done.

Lodriguez MurrayLodriguez Murray“HBCUs have been chronically underfunded, systematically, since inception,” said UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax. “While the efforts of the Biden-Harris Administration are helpful, let me be clear, more is needed via federal and state governments as well as our philanthropic partners.”

Lomax said the Biden-Harris administration has prioritized HBCUs to levels like no other with over $16 billion in investments that include funds through the administration’s COVID-19 American Rescue Plan law and its Education Department’s Strengthening HBCUs and student help-focused Pell Grant programs.

“This historic investment is transformative – from helping to fund cutting-edge research and making long-overdue renovations, to providing mental health resources and ensuring students have access to every opportunity to thrive,” said Vice President Kamala Harris, also an HBCU graduate of Howard University.

Such efforts are purposeful, said Lodriguez Murray, senior vice president, public policy and government affairs, UNCF.

“The funds in the $16 billion-number showcase a dual strategy that we at UNCF have also embraced, prioritizing institutions and students,” said Murray. “Infrastructure funds are necessary for institutions, and students coming from a lower socioeconomic background must have the Pell Grant doubled. We at UNCF want to work with everyone to ensure these outcomes are achieved.”

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