Congress introduced the FUTURE Act to save the future of STEM education at our Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The FUTURE Act not only extends vital funding from the federal government for HBCUs but also extends funding for Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) and other Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) to help them also offer quality academic programs in the STEM fields.Education is the key to all success in the United States and HBCUs punch well above their weight not only in their impact on their local communities but also in their states by ensuring that low-income, first generation college students are prepared to succeed. According to an economic impact report produced by UNCF, the impact of HBCUs on their regional economies included an employment impact of 134,090 jobs; a work-life earnings of $130 billion for HBCU students; and a total economic impact of $14.8 billion.
Furthermore, HBCUs represent 8.5% of the four-year institutions across the 21 states and territories they are located in. Of these states and territories, HBCUs enroll, on average, 24% of all black undergraduates pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a college or university; graduate 26% of all black bachelor’s degree recipients; and award 32% of STEM degrees to black students. In fact, across the entire country, HBCUs enroll 10% of the black undergraduates, produce 17% of all black college graduates with bachelor’s degrees and graduate 21% of black students with bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields.
HBCUs, MSIs and TCUs collectively serve over four million students, accounting for more than one-quarter of all undergraduates and a large share of all students of color. Funding for these programs expire September 30, 2019, so the time to act is now. If this funding expires, these institutions would lose access to $2.55 billion dollars!