HBCU funding continues to lag overall institutions of higher learning funding and even with cutbacks in spending in higher education, HBCUs are disproportionately impacted. For the decade 1993-2002, federal-support to HBCUs increased by $639 million, or 60 percent. However, during that same 10-year period, federal support for all institutions of higher education increased by 79 percent. In fact, federal support for HBCUs as a percentage of support for all institutions of higher learning decreased over that period from 4.60 percent to 4.10 percent. Since 2002, HBCUs have received a total of $17,335,991,617 of a reported $495,395,730,593 in funds awarded to institutions of higher education. With few minor exceptions, HBCU funding as a percentage of funding to institutions of higher learning has remained at this 3 percent level. The economic downturn has hit historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) particularly hard. Faced with decreased enrollment and State financial aid cutbacks, many HBCUs are having life-threatening financial problems.
Because of their unique sensibility to the special needs of young Black minds, the Authority believes that HBCUs remain the institutions that demonstrate the most effective ability to graduate Black students who are poised to be competitive in the corporate, research, academic, governmental and military arenas. As a result, all of the initiatives, programs and strategies of the Authority are directed at helping HBCUs increase their capacity and sustainability through direct financial assistance, increased enrollment, and the development of new and innovative programs and curriculum so that HBCUs once again become the destination of choice for Black students.