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Obama moves to bolster HBCUs

President Obama signed an executive order Friday strengthening the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, a document first signed by President Carter 30 years ago to "overcome the effects of discriminatory treatment" and expand capacity at the institutions.

Obama's budget for fiscal year 2011 proposes $98 million in new money for HBCUs: an increase of $13 million, or 5 percent, in the Strengthening HBCUs program, part of the federal Title III program tailored to build the self-sufficiency of HBCUs, and support for $85 million in HBCU funding in the pending student aid bill.

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The Washington region is home to many HBCUs: Howard University and the University of the District of Columbia in the District; Bowie State University, Coppin State College, Morgan State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in Maryland; and Norfolk State, Virginia State and Hampton universities, Saint Paul's College, Virginia Union University and Virginia University of Lynchburg in Virginia.

Obama's budget also includes $20.5 million for repair, renovation, construction and acquisition of HBCU educational facilities. The funding will support $279 million in new loans in 2011, $100 million more than in 2010. And the budget provides $64.5 million for the Strengthening Historically Black Graduate Instruction program, a 5-percent increase to a Title III program that aids graduate programs.

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By Daniel de Vise  |  February 26, 2010; 3:36 PM ET
Categories:  Access , Aid , Finance , Public policy  | Tags: Bowie State University, HBCUs, Howard University, President Obama, UDC, student aid  
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