Thurgood Marshall College Fund Statement On President Trump’s FY2018 Budget Blueprint

WASHINGTON, DC – March 16, 2017 – With President Trump’s FY2018 budget specifically protecting level funding at $492 million, our country’s Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) fared much better than other higher education stakeholders and federal agencies, in light of the Education Department’s 13% reduction.

Title IV (Federal Pell Grant) was also safeguarded and level funded. TMCF will work with the Members of the 115th Congress, the Bipartisan Congressional HBCU Caucus, and the Congressional Black Caucus to re-allocate the $3.9 billion unobligated carryover funding to restore year-round Pell Grants, and find ways to restore funding to the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants Program.

Although the Budget Blueprint calls for significant reductions in Federal Work-Study, it also commits to “ensur[ing] funds go to undergraduate students who would benefit most” from continued work-study eligibility. We believe, given that 90% of HBCU students receive some form of financial assistance, even with the proposed reduction, the Federal Work-Study Program will continue to serve our population as many of our undergraduate students would no doubt continue to qualify for this important program.

Many HBCUs currently operate charter and private K-12 schools, and we are hopeful the $1.4 billion of newly allocated funding can be used to build and strengthen our K-12 pipeline initiatives. In addition, we will look for ways to work with the Department of Education to expand parental choice K-12 options through our charter and private school network.

President Trump’s decision to maintain $492 million in HBCU funding and not cut the Title IV Pell Grant program demonstrates that HBCUs matter to this Administration. Because HBCUs enroll a disproportionately high number of economically-disadvantaged students, the reduction in the Federal Work-Study Program should not impact our community significantly.

TMCF believes the HBCU President/Chancellor visit with President Trump in the Oval Office, coupled with the Fly-In hosted by Representative Mark Walker (R-NC) and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), were critical to maintaining existing funding levels for HBCUs, and will serve us well as we work with the Legislative Branch to advocate for a budget that will benefit the Black College Community.

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About Thurgood Marshall College Fund

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), established in 1987 is named for the U.S. Supreme Court’s first African-American Justice. TMCF represents all Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and its member-schools include the 47 publicly-supported HBCUs. With TMCF member-schools educating 80% of all students attending HBCUs, TMCF helps students with a clear intention to succeed acquire a high-quality college education at an affordable cost. TMCF also efficiently connects high performing, world-ready students with top tier employment opportunities—access that students or employers might not have on their own. Through its scholarships and programs, TMCF plays a key role in preparing the leaders of tomorrow.

TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization. For more information about TMCF and its initiatives, visit: www.tmcf.org.