The FUTURES Act was first introduced in May of this year. North Carolina Rep. Alma Adams had a vision for education and sustainability for the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
The House voted 319-96 to pass the bill December 13, and the Senate followed suit by unanimous consent a few hours later. The compromise bill hammered out in the Senate streamlines the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by making it easier for the Department of Education to gather information directly from the IRS, cutting at least 22 questions from the form. The FAFSA simplifications are estimated to save $2.8 billion over a decade, which will go toward paying for the bill.
In addition, the measure simplifies the process borrowers use to repay income-driven student loans and provides for a small increase in Pell Grant funding.
On Friday Rep. Adams released the following statement. “Today, our Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), as well as the students they serve, received a welcome Christmas present”, said Congresswoman Adams. “The enactment of the FUTURE Act will permanently guarantee $255 million a year for these institutions to serve over eight million students of color, preparing them for careers in our STEM professions.”
“HBCUs and MSIs provide pathways of opportunities for millions of Americans who are from first generation and low-income families. These institutions have a legacy of nurturing and shaping generations of young adults into the leaders of tomorrow. As a two-time graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, and a retired professor of 40 years at Bennett College for Women, I am a witness to the power of these institutions which molded many of today’s leaders.”
“I thank my colleagues and the tireless advocates who made it possible for HBCUs and MSIs to continue their legacy of educating students of color.”