Statement On FY 2017 Omnibus Appropriations Act

WASHINGTON, DC – May 5, 2017 – “On behalf of our 47 member-schools, Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) extends its gratitude to the 115th Congress and the Trump Administration for supporting HBCU funding in the FY’17 budget. In addition, we are pleased by their commitment to funding year-round PELL for the remaining five months of this year. Access to these additional resources will allow the 259,128 students, at TMCF member-schools, 75% of which receive Pell, to graduate within a shorter period of time and with less debt.

We are pleased the FY’17 Omnibus Appropriations Bill maintains level funding for most of the key programs and budget lines impacting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and we view that as a win for HBCUs. We are pleased the 115th Congress increased funding for the following programs:

  • Title VI, Masters Degree Program received $7.5 million in new discretionary funding, a program that has not been funded since 2014.
  • HBCU Capital Financing Program’s loan subsidies were level funded at $20 million, however, the new loan volume was reduced to $282 million down from $302 million in FY’16.
  • TRIO program received a funding increase to $950 million, up from $900 million in FY’16.
  • GEAR Up program received a funding increase to nearly $340 million up from $323 million in FY’16.

TMCF’s advocacy is not over, we are still focusing on the FY’18 budget. TMCF’s direct advocacy with the White House has also ensured year-round Pell funding in the Trump Administration’s FY’18 budget request to be released later this month. It would have been reprehensible for students to have access to year-round Pell, and once again, have it snatched away from them before they complete their college education. This is another win for the entire Black College Community.

We look forward to continued bipartisan engagement with the Congress for the final FY’18 budget, and this Administration to ensure our nation’s Historically Black College and Universities survive and thrive.” Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., TMCF President & CEO.

NOTE: Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. is available for further comment.