Biden Administration Grants $93 Million to HBCUs, TCCUs, MSIs

The schools will use the funds to enhance research, increase faculty, and help ensure long-term student success.
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Published on December 14, 2023
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  • The Biden administration is awarding $93 million in grants to 20 institutions serving historically excluded students throughout the nation.
  • The Department of Education provided the grants under two different initiatives for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), tribally controlled colleges and universities (TCCUs), and minority-serving institutions (MSIs).
  • This is the administration's second major award to HBCUs, MSIs, and TCCUs this year.
  • Already, the administration has contributed more than $25 billion to these colleges and universities.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced Dec. 8 that it was awarding $93 million in grants to historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), tribally controlled colleges and universities (TCCUs), and minority-serving institutions (MSIs) to bolster research and development.

ED will distribute the funds to 20 colleges and universities. Aside from improved research and development opportunities, the grants will also be used to help historically excluded students complete their programs, a press release stated.

These grant awards will help many of our nation's most inclusive and diverse colleges and universities expand their capacity to drive research and innovation, and propel more students to graduation day and fulfilling careers. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in the press release.

This is how we Raise the Bar for college excellence and attainment in this country and close equity gaps in higher education that have no place in the 21st century.

HBCUs, in particular, make up 3% of the nation's collegiate institutions, yet they impact the employment market by as much as $15 billion each year. They are well known to be underfunded compared to predominantly white institutions despite these figures.

The latest funding announcement follows a similar $100 million grant awarded to HBCUs, MSIs, and TCCUs in August.

ED has contributed more than $25 billion to these colleges and universities since the beginning of the Biden administration, the press release on the most recent award stated.

Driving Minority-Led Success and Innovations

The grants are being provided under two separate ED initiatives aimed at aiding HBCUs, TCCUs, and MSIs: the Research and Development Infrastructure (RDI) program and the Postsecondary Student Success Grant (PSSG) program.

The RDI program provides funds to strengthen research programs, increase research productivity, and hire expert faculty. RDI grant recipients include:

  • Hampton University (HBCU in Virginia) — $4.96 million
  • Southern University (HBCU in Louisiana) — $4.99 million
  • University of Maryland Eastern Shore (HBCU in Maryland) — $4.68 million
  • Texas Southern University (HBCU in Texas) — $4.99 million
  • Tennessee State University (HBCU in Tennessee) — $4.95 million
  • United Tribes Technical College (TCCU in North Dakota) — $2 million
  • Blackfeet Community College (TCCU in Montana) — $1.99 million
  • City College of New York (MSI in New York) — $5 million
  • The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley (MSI in Texas) — $5 million
  • California State University, Fullerton (MSI in California) — $4.99 million
  • Roosevelt University (MSI in Illinois) — $4.99 million

The PSSG program targets students directly, seeking to boost student retention and graduation rates. PSSG grant recipients include:

  • The University System of Maryland (Maryland) — $3.99 million
  • Long Beach City College (MSI in California) — $4 million
  • Saint Peter's University (MSI in New Jersey) — $3.84 million
  • California State University, Fullerton (MSI in California) — $3.99 million
  • Tulsa Community College (MSI in Oklahoma) — $3.72 million
  • University of California, Berkeley (MSI in California) — $3.03 million
  • City College of New York (MSI in New York) — $7.32 million
  • Colorado State University System (Colorado) — $7.84 million
  • Georgia State University (MSI in Georgia) — $7.58 million

A Broader Push for Assistance

Since President Joe Biden took office, ED — under his direction — has distributed over $25 billion in funding to colleges and universities serving historically excluded students, according to the press release on the latest grants. HBCUs specifically received $7.3 billion; $474.5 million has gone to TCCUs; and $18.1 billion has gone to MSIs.

In 2021, Biden proposed $10 billion in funding to aid in research and tuition assistance for these colleges and universities as part of his Build Back Better bill. The bill stalled that year, but the smaller Inflation Reduction Act passed in 2022 with considerably less funding for minority-focused institutions.

But Biden found other ways to support them.

In 2022, through ED and by using funds from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, Biden provided $2.7 billion in funding to HBCUs. Then in August 2023, again through ED, Biden funded $100 million in grants to HBCUs, MSIs, and TCCUs.

In addition to ED, Biden has also used his Department of Agriculture to fund minority-focused educational institutions.

Such funding is part of the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to shared prosperity and equity for all Americans, an official White House fact sheet stated.