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Action Alert -- July 17, 2007 

HACU urges increased funding for HSI Appropriations under Title V for FY 2008

On June 21, 2007, the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations approved $94.9 million for HSIs under Title V of the HEA Act for FY 2008. The recommendation is scheduled to go next to the Senate Floor for action at a date to be determined by the leadership of the Senate, but soon!

HACU urges leaders of every member institution to immediately contact their Senators to ask them to request the Chair and Ranking Member (Senators Harkin and Specter) of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies to recommend increasing the proposed $94.9 million for HSIs for FY 2008 to at least $100 million.

In speaking with your Senators, emphasize that: 

1) The number of Hispanic-Serving Institutions has increased 20%, from 219 in 2002 to 262 in 2007.  HSIs educate over 50% of the nation's Hispanic college students and Hispanic enrollments are growing every year. 

2) HSIs continue to grow in importance in the nation's ability to educate the workforce of the 21st century. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that one out of three new entrants into the job market is Hispanic.  By 2020 Hispanics are expected to be one in two new workers. HSIs are at the forefront of educating a workforce that will be essential to the changing economy. 

3) The Title V program is one of the most cost-effective federal education programs. Title V grants average $400,000 per year per institution. Since most HSIs do not have large endowments or substantial research grants, Title V ensures that HSIs can better serve a growing and increasingly diverse student population.  Title V program flexibility enables HSIs to establish new degree programs, purchase laboratory or computer equipment, or provide state-of-the-art training for professors and instructors.

4) HSIs contribute significantly to the postsecondary education system in the nation by educating Hispanic and other students who would not otherwise attend college or university.  Because of proximity and low cost, HSIs are often the most viable college option for individuals from modest economic backgrounds. 

Thank the Senator and emphasize the importance of increased funding for HSIs under Title V of the HEA. Contact HACU's DC office at (202) 833-8361 for additional information or assistance.

A sample letter is attached if you are unable to speak with your senator. Please adjust the letter to the uniqueness of your institution.

YOUR LEADERSHIP WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!

 


Sample Letter 

Date

The Honorable (name of your U.S. Senator):
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator [Last name]:   

On behalf of [your institution], I want to thank you for your ongoing support for Title V of the Higher Education Act. Over the years your support has made it possible for many Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) to utilize Title V grants to enhance their infrastructure and to increase access and academic achievement for the many Hispanics that attend these institutions. Title V remains the major source of federal funding to improve education, research and outreach capacity for many HSIs. 

[Mention that your institution has been a recipient of a grant and how the grant has helped your institution. If you have not yet received a Title V grant, indicate that you expect that your institution will be submitting a grant application in the near future.]

I understand that the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies will be recommending level funding for Title V for FY 2008. I want to let you know that my institution is very disappointed in this decision. Currently the Title V program is funded at $94.9 million. The last year in which Title V received an increase in funding was FY 2004 when Congress appropriated $95.1 million. We believe that a larger increase is warranted for a number of reasons:

First, the number of Hispanic-Serving Institutions of higher education has grown substantially in recent years.  In fact, since 2002, the number of federally-designated HSIs has increased 20%, from 219 in 2002 to 262 in 2007.  HSIs educate over 50 percent of the nation's Hispanic college students, a percentage and number that is growing every year.  HSIs are often the only viable opportunity for individuals from modest economic backgrounds to attend college.

Second, HSIs continue to grow in importance in our higher education system and in our overall ability to educate the workforce of the 21st century. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that today one out of three new entrants into the job market is Hispanic.  By 2020 Hispanics are expected to be one in two new workers. HSI are poised to contribute significantly to the training and education of a workforce fully prepared for a rapidly changing economy. 

Third, the Title V program is one of the most cost-effective federal education programs.  Title V grants are not large, averaging approximately $400,000 per year per institution. Most HSIs do not have large endowments or substantial research grants.  Program flexibility enables HSIs to establish new degree programs, purchase laboratory or computer equipment, or provide state-of-the-art training for professors and instructors.

Finally, Title V empowers HSIs to better serve the nation's growing and increasingly diverse student populations. HSIs contribute significantly to the postsecondary education system in the nation by educating a noteworthy number of Hispanic and other students who would not otherwise attend college or university. 

For all the reasons listed above, I respectfully request that you encourage your colleagues in the Senate to increase federal funding for Title V of the HEA to not less than $100 million for FY 2008.

Thank you again for your past support of the Title V program and of higher education in general.

Sincerely,

  

[Title]

cc: Antonio R. Flores, President and CEO, HACU

 


HACU Action Alerts are a service of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.