U.S. Representative Danny K. Davis Applauds Historic Funding Increases for Predominantly Black Institutions to Improve Access to Higher Education, Including Awards for Malcolm X, Olive-Harvey, Kennedy-King, and Chicago State

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September 29, 2008
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Washington,D.C.- On September 29, 2008, Congressmen Danny K. Davis (D-IL) applauded the announcementof the first grant awards to PredominantlyBlack Institutions (PBIs) by the Department of Education.

Washington, D.C.- On September 29, 2008, Congressmen DannyK. Davis (D-IL) applauded the announcement of the first grant awards to Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs) bythe Department of Education.  CongressmanDavis said, "As a result of a significant student aid law passed by Congress lastyear, Predominantly Black Institutions (orPBIs) as well as other minority serving institutions will receive recordincreases in funding.  I celebrate with Malcolm X College, Kennedy-KingCollege, Olive-HarveyCollege, and Chicago StateUniversity that willreceive approximately $600,000 each for the next two years to strengthen their high-caliberprograms in fields such as science, technology, engineering, and education aswell as to improve educational outcomes for African American men.  Predominantly Black Institutions play animportant role in educating low-income, minority students.  I have advocated for years for such funding tostrengthen the capacity of our higher education institutions to retain andgraduate these students in critical areas of education."

Davis continued, "The College Cost Reduction and Access Actprovides $510 million in new funding for minority serving institutions to helpexpand college access, strengthen support services that focus on helpinglow-income and minority students stay in school and graduate, and renovatecampuses in need of improvement.  PredominantlyBlack Institutions will receive $30 million over the next two years.  Predominantly Black Institutions represent agrowing cadre of four-year and two-year institutions that serve as the accesspoint for a growing number of urban and rural Black students whose family andfinancial situations limit their ability to gain access to college in manystates.  These institutions account formuch of the recent increase in Black students in education.  Many of their students come from low-incomefamilies and are also "first generation" college students, whose educational preparationfor college and family finances presents special challenges to educationalsuccess.  This grant represents the firsttime that federal aid will support Predominantly Black Institutions in theircapacity as a type of minority serving institution.   Although the Higher Education Act hashistorically provided funds for the Historically Black Colleges andUniversities, Predominantly Black Institutions have been ineligible for thisaid, which requires that an institution be established prior to 1964 and haveexperienced the history of segregation by law. The new law recognizes that Predominantly Black Institutions are indeedminority serving institutions and provides critical aid to strengthen theseinstitutions of higher education.  Chicago has many Predominantly Black Institutions, and Iam proud that the high quality education provided by ChicagoState Universityand the City Collegesof Chicago isnow recognized nationally."

Davisadded, "In addition, this law will further support African American students inattending and completing college by raising the amount of Pell grants andlowering interest rates on federal student loans.  Indeed, the first reduction in interest ratesoccurred this past July.  Together, thesechanges will greatly aid students in Chicago,Illinois, and the nation inpaying for college and obtaining high-quality education."   

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