Menendez, Colleagues Call for Vote to Renew Funding for Minority-Serving Institutions

Menendez, Colleagues Call for Vote to Renew Funding for Minority-Serving Institutions

Bipartisan FUTURE Act would reauthorize $255 million in mandatory federal funding for minority-serving institutions in New Jersey and across the country

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Doug Jones (D-Ala.) were joined by a group of colleagues to call on Senate Republicans to hold a vote on the FUTURE Act, bipartisan legislation to renew now-expired funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and other minority-serving institutions around the country. The funding for these institutions expired on September 30, 2019. The House of Representatives approved the legislation by voice vote in September.

Sen. Menendez shared his personal story as the first in his family to attend to college. Today, Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City is an HSI, serving one of the most diverse metropolitan areas in the nation.

“Minority Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities across America depend on this funding to fulfill their mission – and the nearly four million undergrads they serve are counting on us to get the job done,” said Sen. Menendez. “There’s just no excuse for letting this $255 million in mandatory funding lapse, and I am confident that if brought to the Senate floor, it would pass with a strong bipartisan vote.”

HBCUs are institutions established prior to 1964 with the principal mission of educating Black Americans. Across the country, there are over 100 accredited HBCUs, both public and private, in 19 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Nearly 20-percent of African-American college graduates attended HBCUs.

Defined as degree-granting institutions where total Hispanic enrollment constitutes no less than 25% of the total enrollment, HSIs play a critical role in educating Hispanic youth and improving the communities in which they are located. There are 523 HSIs in 25 states and Puerto Rico with emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions located in 35 States and the District of Columbia.

New Jersey is home to 17 HSIs and Predominantly Black Institutions:

  • Essex County College
  • Middlesex County College
  • Union County College
  • Cumberland County College
  • Passaic County Community College
  • Hudson County Community College
  • College of Saint Elizabeth
  • Bloomfield College
  • Felician University
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus
  • Kean University
  • Pillar College
  • Saint Peter's University
  • Montclair State University
  • Rutgers University-Newark
  • Kean University
  • William Paterson University of New Jersey
  • New Jersey City University

Joining Sens. Menendez and Jones were advocates representing minority-serving institutions: Dr. Aminta Breaux, President of Bowie State University; Dr. Harry Williams, CEO of Thurgood Marshall College Fund; Carrie Billy, President of American Indian Higher Education Consortium; Lezli Baskerville, President/CEO of National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education; Alicia Diaz, Interim Chief Advocacy Officer of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and Lodriguez Murray, Senior Vice President of United Negro College Fund.