May 20, 2021

Van Hollen, Cardin Call for Increased Federal Investments in HBCUs

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin joined Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Tim Scott (R-SC) in a bipartisan effort calling for increased support for the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the upcoming spending bill. In the bipartisan letter, which was also signed by 20 of their colleagues, the lawmakers stressed the importance of investing in the nation’s HBCUs to our economy—highlighting data that illustrates how HBCUs generate more than $14 billion in total economic impact and are responsible for over 134,000 jobs nationwide. The senators’ letter also underscored how strengthened federal investments in HBCUs will not only support the skill and knowledge development of countless first-generation, low-income, and minority Americans but will also help encourage job creation and ensure our country has a diverse, skilled workforce ready to take advantage of the jobs of today and tomorrow spurred by the constantly-evolving global economy. Maryland is home to four HBCUs: Morgan State University, Bowie State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and Coppin State University.

“As you consider the fiscal year (FY) 2022 appropriations process, we request that you continue to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This is a critical time to invest in HBCUs, which collectively enroll nearly 300,000 students. HBCUs serve as a gateway to the middle class for many first-generation, low-income, and minority Americans. Further, an HBCU education has been the common thread that runs through the stories of many of our nation’s great leaders, innovators, and job creators,” wrote the lawmakers.

The letter continued: “A report by UNCF found that HBCUs generate $14.8 billion in total economic impact, as well as over 134,000 jobs, both on-campus and off. Having an HBCU degree lifted the lifetime earnings of their graduates by 56 percent – or an estimated $130 billion – over what they would have earned without their degree. Increased federal aid will only add to the job creating capacity of these institutions, and will support more students who will be able to reap the benefits of having a degree from an HBCU.”

The bipartisan letter was also signed by the following lawmakers: Senator Blumenthal (D-CT), Senator Booker (D-NJ), Senator Brown (D-OH), Senator Carper (D-DE), Senator Casey (D-PA), Senator Coons (D-DE), Senator Duckworth (D-IL), Senator Durbin (D-IL), Senator Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Kaine (D-VA), Senator Klobuchar (D-MN), Senator Merkley (D-OR), Senator Ossoff (D-GA), Senator Padilla (D-CA), Senator Sanders (I-VT), Senator Tillis (R-NC), Senator Warner (D-VA), and Senator Warren (D-MA).

The full text of the letter can be found here