Congress on Tuesday gave a final nod of approval for a bill that restores more than $250 million a year to the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities.
The decision, made in a vote of 319-96 and which came after months of haranguing, now preserves a funding source that expired this fall.
“Today we are sending an important message of support for our HBCUs and showing in no uncertain terms that we believe they are vital to our system of higher education,” Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), a bill co-sponsor, said in a statement.
The legislation, known as the FUTURE Act, also makes changes to simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, the federal form college students fill out to check their eligibility for financial aid.
Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., chairman of the House’s Committee on Education and Labor, said that HBCUs have played a huge role in educating low-income students.
Scott noted, however, that with the schools’ past funding having lagged in comparison to others, they are now poised to count on a guaranteed source of funding to continue their objectives.