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HACU praises $1B in new HSI funding

Member Advisory—March 24, 2010

HACU is pleased to announce that $100 million will annually become available in federal grants for Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) to improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and to develop articulation agreements between two- and four-year institutions. The provisions are part of a larger program authorizing and appropriating $2.55 billion over ten years (beginning in FY 2011 through 2019) to Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) for the same purposes.

“This much-needed funding continues the work begun with the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 in supporting STEM education for Hispanics,” said Dr. Antonio R. Flores, President and CEO of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU).“Not only does it help to address the persisting under-funding of HSIs, but it is a critical step toward meeting the science workforce needs of the nation in this century.”

The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA) which created the program was included in the reconciliation package with health care reform which passed the House of Representatives on Sunday and was signed into law by President Obama on Tuesday.

SAFRA also eliminates bank-based federally subsidized student loans in favor of the Direct Lending program and increases Pell maximums over the next ten years. Savings from the student loan program provide the funding for Pell increases and for the MSI STEM program.

Community colleges will also receive $2 billion targeted to job training, a reduction and re-direction of community college funding from earlier versions of the bill.

The much more publicized health care reform measures signed into law also will mean better health insurance opportunities for low income people and include provisions for increasing the number of health care professionals in currently underserved communities.

Please call or email your Members of Congress and thank them for their support of STEM education initiatives at HSIs.