NEW YORK, May 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation today announced $1.76 million in emergency grants distributed to 16 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The grants aim to help the institutions stabilize enrollments for the upcoming academic year. For students, the grants address technology needs, financial strain due to tuition or residential bills, supporting essential travel between home and campus, and other necessities.
HBCUs are an integral part of the higher education landscape and enroll nearly 300,000 students across the country, but these institutions face chronic funding challenges. The COVID-19 epidemic has increased these challenges, which are affecting students’ ability to pay tuition, travel to and from school, and access the internet, thereby jeopardizing their continuous enrollment.
“HBCUs play an essential role in shaping the minds and futures of our nation’s talented young people,” said Mellon Foundation President Elizabeth Alexander. “As the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affects underresourced institutions and communities of color, the Mellon Foundation is proud to provide focused support for students attending these vital historically black schools.”
Reflecting on the importance and potential impact of this funding Lincoln University President Brenda Allen remarked: “For every $1,000 we can offer a student in grant aid we increase the likelihood that they will graduate by about 20 percent.”
Funding in the form of $110,000 emergency grants will be given to Lincoln and 15 other HBCUs: Claflin University, Clark Atlanta University, Dillard University, Fisk University, Hampton University, Howard University, Johnson C. Smith University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Prairie View A&M University, Spelman College, Tougaloo College, Winston-Salem State University, and Xavier University of Louisiana.
About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Founded in 1969, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation seeks to strengthen, promote, and defend the centrality of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse, fair, and democratic societies. To this end, our core programs support exemplary and inspiring institutions of higher education and culture. Additional information is available at mellon.org.
Above photo: Wilberforce University in Ohio is the first college to be owned and operated by African-Americans. Photo credit: Hardy Brown II