Press Releases

After White House Questions TRIO Effectiveness, CBC Urges Support for It, Other Programs Supporting HBCU Students

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Washington, April 27, 2017 | comments

WASHINGTON – In a letter to President Trump, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), today, urged robust funding for TRIO and other programs that support HBCU students. During a meeting with President Trump and White House advisers, the White House raised concerns about TRIO’s effectiveness and said they would reconsider proposed cuts to the program if the CBC could provide data demonstrating its effectiveness.

Excerpt from the Letter

“…in our meeting, your staff raised concerns about the effectiveness of the federal TRIO programs. As a proud graduate of Morehouse College and Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, I am compelled to highlight the discrepancy between your stated goal to uplift HBCUs and your proposed spending priorities.

“Every year, the federal TRIO programs help hundreds of thousands of students from low-income backgrounds to become the first members of their families to earn college degrees. To address the concerns raised by your staff, I have enclosed a report by the Council for Opportunity in Education highlighting the impact of TRIO programs on college enrollment, retention, and graduation rates for low-income, first-generation students. The analysis shows consistent improvements in college enrollment and degree attainment rates across TRIO program participants compared to their peers.”

In addition to providing this data with the letter, the CBC recommended robust funding for a host of federal programs that support HBCU students:

  • HBCU Undergraduate Program (Title III, Part B, Sec. 323),
  • HBCU Capital Financing Program (Title III, Part D),
  • HBCU Graduate Program (Title III, Part B, Sec. 326),
  • Predominantly Black Institutions (Title III, Part A, Sec. 318),
  • Master’s Degree Programs at HBCUs and PBIs (Title VII, Secs. 723 and 724),
  • Federal Pell Grant Program,
  • TRIO, GEAR UP, and Upward Bound,
  • Department of Interior HBCU Historic Preservation Program,
  • 1890 Research, Education, Extension, and Facility Programs,
  • Department of Defense HBCU/Minority Institutions Program, and
  • National Science Foundation “Broadening Participation” programs.

Excerpt from the Letter

“For over a hundred years, HBCUs have served as an engine of social mobility for millions of students. The communities that we represent rely on these institutions to educate our students, uplift our neighborhoods, and revitalize our local economies. I urge you to fully support HBCUs so that they can continue delivering educational experiences that prepare the next generation of leaders with the skills needed to strengthen our economy and improve the well-being of our great nation.”

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