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HACU Applauds Swift Passage of HR 2669--September 7, 2007

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and its more than 450 member colleges and universities, including most of the nation’s 270 Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), applaud Congress’s swift passage of the Conference Report for the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, HR 2669. The legislation was adopted by 79 to 12 in the Senate and 292 to 97 in the House of Representatives and is expected to be signed by the President.

HR 2669 will provide $20 billion to boost financial assistance to low-income and middle income students, make landmark investments in Hispanic and Minority-Serving Institutions, particularly in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, and increase resources to key educational programs such as Upward Bound.

By significantly increasing the Pell Grant, the bill ensures that higher education will be more accessible to low-income and first-generation Hispanic college students. The investment in science education should also help to address the under-representation of Hispanics and other minorities in STEM fields.

HR 2669 will:

  • Provide $200 million in mandatory spending to Hispanic-Serving Institutions to increase the representation of Hispanic and other low-income undergraduate students pursuing STEM fields. The nation’s 270 Hispanic-Serving Institutions (both 2- and 4-year institutions) enroll half of all Latinos attending college today.
  • Increase the maximum award to Pell Grant recipients to $4,800 in 2008 and to $5,400 by 2012. About 37 percent of Hispanic students receive Pell Grants each year.
  • Cut student loan interest rates in half in five years. About 25 percent of Hispanic students take out need-based student loans each year.
  • Provide increased resources for Upward Bound that will allow more HSIs to compete successfully for this college prep program.

 

HACU recognizes Rep. George Miller, Senator Edward Kennedy, the House Education and Labor Committee, and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee for their exemplary leadership on this legislation.

HACU particularly thanks Rep. Rubén Hinojosa and other distinguished members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Pacific American Caucus for championing the cause of minority and low-income students.

Antonio Flores, President and CEO of HACU, said, “This legislation creates landmark investments in Hispanic-Serving Institutions that will enable them to educate larger numbers of Hispanics and other under-represented students in STEM fields and prepare them to compete in the global economy.”

HACU urges its membership to contact their Representatives and Senators and thank them for their bold leadership in increasing federal resources to HSIs to ensure Hispanic success in higher education.

Please contact HACU’s Washington, D.C., offices at (202) 833-8361 for any additional information or assistance.

YOUR LEADERSHIP WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!

HACU Member Advisories are a service
of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.