The Senate version of the legislation aimed at stimulating the economy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic contains slightly more than $1 billion in support for the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides emergency Title III and Title V aid to HBCUs, predominantly Black institutions and other minority-serving institutions.
In addition to the supplemental aid, the CARES Act also authorizes the Department of Education to loosen the restrictions on currently appropriated Title III funds. This additional flexibility will allow schools to put previously restricted funds directly to use in addressing the new challenges that HBCUs and their students face during the ongoing health emergency.
Harry L. Williams, president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which represents the nation’s state-operated HBCUs, stated that “the deal developed by the Senate is another powerful example of the Congress’ recognition of the importance of and need to deliver for HBCUs, PBIs, and their students. The road to full financial recovery from this crisis will be a long one for our schools, but the collective engagement and tireless bi-partisan advocacy of our community have helped to secure the much-needed resources our schools require to both navigate this crisis and continue to pursue their respective missions.”
Dr. Williams is the former president of Delaware State University. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Dr. Williams holds a doctorate from East Tennessee State University,