Tillis reiterates support for America’s historically black colleges, universities

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) last week continued his efforts to support the nation’s more than 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

“North Carolina is the home of the most HBCUs in the nation and I have made it a priority to advocate on behalf of HBCUs to ensure they have the support they need to continue their standard of excellence,” said Sen. Tillis during a Feb. 27 bipartisan panel held at the 2020 HBCU Fly-In hosted by U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC).

The conference allowed HBCU presidents and chancellors to continue the discussion on how to advance opportunities for black youth while participating in an open dialogue around bettering HBCUs and minority-serving institutions (MSIs).

“Our work last year to permanently reauthorize annual funding for HBCUs and help students pursue their academic and professional goals was a huge step,” Sen. Tillis said. “I will continue to prioritize HBCUs and produce outcomes to ensure institutions can continue to provide quality education, increase the pipeline of qualified talent, and create more innovative and inclusive industries in the 21st century, especially in STEM-related fields.”

The senator was referencing the passage of a bipartisan amendment he cosponsored to the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act, H.R. 5363, which became law in December 2019. The amendment, as part of the larger bill, makes permanent $255 million in annual funding for HBCUs and MSIs; simplifies the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for 20 million American families; and streamlines income-driven repayment for nearly eight million borrowers, according to Sen. Tillis’ office.

Sen. Tillis also cosponsored the bipartisan HBCU Propelling Agency Relationships Towards a New Era of Results for Students (HBCU PARTNERS) Act, S. 461, that the Senate approved in February 2019 to strengthen partnerships between federal agencies and HBCUs by requiring federal agencies with relevant grants and programs to undertake annual planning and coordinate their efforts to support and expand HBCU participation in those programs. The measure remains under committee consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives.