CHICAGO, IL – Members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation are urging Congress support for more funding for minority-serving institutions, including Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs). In a letter written to the Congress of the United States, Illinois officials are asking for additional funding to provide much-needed emergency relief to Illinois students from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods amid the ongoing pandemic. 

“HCF appreciates and supports members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation for their sincere call to action for more funds for minority-serving institutions, especially Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs),” said Demetrius Johnson, Jr., president and CEO, Founder of HCF. “As stated in their letter to the Congress, Illinois is home to Chicago State University (CSU), the only U.S. Department of Education designated public four-year PBI. For years, CSU has invested in the African American and Minority population throughout Chicagoland and the U.S., providing educational access to economically low-income students.”

The CARES Act allotted $18 million for the Strengthening PBIs Program, of which CSU was allotted just under $150,000. Amid the pandemic, CSU provided students with housing during the Illinois Stay at Home Order and covered the cost of student devices for online coursework. Through PBIs, Such as CSU, can foster conditions for equity by supporting and educating students, primarily African-American and low-income students, to enhance economic mobility.

“Our organization stands by its founded mission, which is to support every “Black” designated institution that is vigorously in operation, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs), and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs),” said Johnson. “We fully stand behind the members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation and CSU to urgently ask Congress to pass another measure that will give PBIs more access and the assurance that they need to provide the necessary resources and prepare for the uncertainties of the upcoming academic year.”

PBIs, as defined in the Higher Education Act of 1965, has a student population that is comprised of 50 percent of low-income individuals or first-generation students. In addition, the Higher Education Act ensures that PBIs maintain lower expenditure levels to enable the acceptance of high percentages of students within these categories.

Text of the letter to Congress from the Members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation, can be found here.

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About Chicago State University (CSU)
Chicago State University (CSU) is a pubic, comprehensive university that provides access to higher education for students of diverse backgrounds and educational needs. The University fosters the intellectual development and success of its student population through a rigorous, positive, and transformative educational experience. CSU is committed to teaching, research, service and community development including social justice, leadership and entrepreneurship.

About HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF)
The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) is a nonprofit advocacy educational organization that is mission to support the significance and raises funds for scholarships, initiative programming, and for private and public HBCUs and MSIs. HCF remains today as a strong advocate for students and higher education. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.