The HBCU Transformation Project recently announced that they’ve been given $124 million in funds from philanthropic group Blue Meridian Partners dedicated to helping HBCUs with their programs.
Announced on Wednesday, the gift will be awarded to the coalition made up of approximately 40 HBCUs to help the institutions with increasing the rates of enrollment and graduation. The new fund will also be dedicated to helping HBCU graduates post-graduation by increasing employment rates. The $124 million donation marks the second time that Blue Meridian has provided financial aid to HBCUs. In 2020, the group first provided HBCUs with approximately $75 million to help the universities with the costs of keeping the schools running during the pandemic.
From early on, with the beginning of the funds being provided to the HBCUs, the coalition’s efforts have been successful. With the extra financial aid, HBCU South Carolina State University notably increased enrollment rates by implementing a new management platform that allowed the university to track down unfinished applications.
While the rate of freshmen entering the school in 2019 was approximately 371 students, South Carolina State University recently recorded a new incoming class of 1,200 students this year.
🎓 Exciting News! The #HBCUTransformation Project just received a $124 million boost from Blue Meridian Partners, taking its total investment to $184 million. This means even more support for #HBCUs nationwide. Read our latest announcement: https://t.co/OdUebz3loB pic.twitter.com/DcGRa3VOw2— UNCF (@UNCF) September 13, 2023
“The HBCU Transformation Project will deliver permanent, sustainable, and systemic improvement: more students, more graduates, bigger endowments, and new opportunities to advance economic mobility.,” said the CEO and Co-founder of the Partnership for Education Advancement, James Runcie, per a statement. “HBCUs will be at the leading edge of transformation and infrastructure enhancements that will impact student outcomes well into the future.”
Over the years, HBCUs have had a substantial impact on student success.
According to the UNCF, HBCUs have been successful in providing funds to make students feel financially secure while attending school. Approximately 40% of all HBCU scholars report that the cost has them feeling financially stable.
HBCUs are also known for providing success rates in fields that lack diversity. For STEM careers, approximately 25% of Black employees with STEM degrees earned them from an HBCU.
Although HBCUs have recorded success rates, they’ve been chronically underfunded over the years. In a new study released in May by Candid and nonprofit ABFE, the financial support for HBCUs has declined by 30% in the 17-year span from 2002 to 2019. Overall, while the eight Ivy League schools got approximately $5.5 billion in funds in 2019, the 99 HBCUs in the U.S. received just a fraction of that value, rewarded only $45 million in comparison.
In recent years, however, the Biden administration has provided a number of support for HBCUs, providing nearly $6 billion in funding post-pandemic and canceling almost $2 billion in debt, according to the White House.