The FUTURE ACT Passed the House of Representatives with Bipartisan Support, Extending the Only Congressional Mandatory Funding for HBCUs and MSIs, and Must Now be Passed by the Senate

On Sept. 17, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2486, “Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education” (FUTURE) Act. This bill, introduced by Representatives Alma Adams (D-NC) and Mark Walker (R-NC), in the House, and S. 1279, introduced by Senators Doug Jones (D-AL) and Tim Scott (R-SC), will extend the authority and funding for Title III, Part F of the Higher Education Act of 1965 through FY 2021, roughly $255 million for the collective HBCUs and MSIs.

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The colleges and universities covered by the FUTURE ACT enroll more than 4.8 million undergraduate students in the U.S. – one-quarter of all students — and represent over 800 richly diverse American universities: 106 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), 50 Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs); 523 Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), 37 Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and over 200 Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs).

FUTURE Act funds play a vital role in strengthening the capacity of covered institutions, and increasing credentialing and degree attainment, including in important STEM fields and in Education professions.

“NAFEO Nation–106 HBCUs and 50 PBIs–is inestimably grateful to Representatives Adams and Mark Walker, to House Education & Labor Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) for expediting action to extend this vitally important legislation, understanding that it will expire on September 30th without congressional action extending the Future Act,” said Lezli Baskerville, President & CEO of NAFEO. “We are also grateful to every Member of the House of Representatives who voted to pass the bill. We owe a great deal of gratitude to the entire HBCU Community, the Black Leadership Family, allies of every ilk and all walks of life, for the tremendous work they did in educating their Members of Congress about the importance of the FUTURE Act to the ability of HBCUs and MSIs—America’s quintessential equal educational opportunity institutions—to continue punching above their weight in graduating students of color, low-income and first generation students, in growth and high need disciplines.”

“If the FUTURE Act is allowed to expire on September 30, 2019, millions of students (disproportionately low- income, first generation and students of color) will be left behind, in the margins of our nation, without the opportunity to earn a college degree or credential,” said Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Chairman of the NAFEO Board of Directors and President & CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association. “We cannot let that happen. With leadership in the Senate from Tim Scott, Doug Jones, great co-sponsors, and stakeholders in every state in the Union who understand the urgency of passing the Future Act, now, we know that it will not expire. Tomorrow, we need the support of the broad and diverse FUTURE Coalition to join us in redoubling our efforts to attain Senate passage.

September 17, 2019

Contact: Joy West