Chicago State University’s entrance sign.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced $587,729 in federal funding to Chicago State University. The funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Predominately Black Institutions Program will assist the university in implementing their Resiliency and Capacity Expansion for Student Success in the Health Professions (RECESS-HP) Program. Chicago State, located on Chicago’s South Side, is Illinois’ only four-year U.S. Department of Education-designated Predominately Black Institution.

“Those of us who weren’t always sure we’d be able to go to college or faced barriers upon entry understand the power of a diploma,” said Duckworth. “I’ll keep working with Senator Durbin to ensure federal support for higher education, especially for Illinois schools like Chicago State University and for working class communities and communities of color, so that every American has the opportunity to enroll in college and complete a degree.”

“Higher education should be accessible to every American, no matter who they are or where they live. Today’s federal funding will help recruit and enroll students at Chicago State University to study health and science at an affordable cost. I will continue to work with Senator Duckworth to secure these kind of investments in communities of color and Predominately Black Institutions,” said Durbin.

“This funding, part of a 5-year, $2.9 million commitment, will help ensure Chicago State University’s continued excellence in the health sciences, where our graduate experience 100 percent job placement. Health sciences in an area of growth in the Illinois workforce, and we know that increasing access into the healthcare workforce for communities of color is key to addressing health inequities, so we will continue our innovative student success strategies with this federal funding,” said Chicago State University President Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott, Esq.

Through RECESS-HP, Chicago State plans to prioritize outreach to Black men, develop programs in health education and sciences and improve and expand hybrid and remote learning for students at the university. The U.S. Department of Education’s Predominately Black Institutions Program awards grant to eligible colleges to make higher education more accessible for low-and middle income Black students.

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UNCF’s digital campaign “Protecting Our Future” worked to break logjam and finally advance funding permanently for HBCUs and other institutions serving minority populations

HCF applauds and is pleased for the U.S. Senate’s passage of the modified H.R. 2486, the FUTURE Act. The bill will permanently extend $255 million, annually, of mandatory funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and other Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) to improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) outcomes at those institutions, among other things. Previously, the bill provided mandatory funding for two years. $86 million of the overall total is specific for HBCUs, which has helped these institutions significantly increase STEM outcomes over the last 12 years.

“HCF extends its appreciation to those who worked very diligently to advocate for the need of this very crucial bill that will continuously support our institutions that need it most,” said Demetrius Johnson, Jr., President and CEO, Founder at HBCU Campaign Fund. “I would like to thank the Congress and those organizations which are essential to our HBCUs and MSIs. Without Senator Tim Scott and Doug Jones, our institutions would not have a permanent funding solution that will continue to flourish and pour into aspiring STEM scholars. Thank you to UNCF for their continuous marvelous support and work, their Protect Our Future campaign generated 65,000 letters to the Congress.”

The bill will make the federal student aid application (FAFSA) process more accessible by eliminating up to 22 questions and the process that had required some students to verify IRS documentation with the Department of Education in order for aid to be released.

“The Bipartisan agreement for HBCU funding is a great step in the right direction for the continued sustainability of our beloved institutions,” said Dr. Santarvis Brown, Board Chairman at HBCU Campaign Fund.

The bill will also streamline student loan repayments by eliminating annual paperwork for some 7.7 million federal student loan borrowers on an income-driven plan, which allows them to make payments based on their incomes.

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About HBCU Campaign Fund

Founded in 2012, HCF is the vision and brainchild of founder Mr. Demetrius Johnson, Jr. In 2015, HCF incorporated its mission to supporting the significance and raising funds for scholarships and services at HBCUs and MSIs. HCF today remains as a strong advocate for students and higher education. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.