Post Retreads False Claim About Biden’s Funding for Historically Black Colleges

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Quick Take

The Biden administration has awarded billions in funding to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, including more than $2.7 billion provided in the American Rescue Plan. Yet a social media post revives an old, false claim that Biden revoked $250 million that then-President Donald Trump “pledged to give historical black colleges for the next 10 years.”


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The Biden administration has made multiple investments in support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, or HBCUs. The White House last year released a state-by-state list of the $2.7 billion in funding provided through the American Rescue Plan, with the exact amount each school has received.

HBCUs were established in the early 19th century to provide African Americans with opportunities in higher education that were not accessible due to segregation and discrimination. The schools continue to serve the Black community, creating new generations of leaders and scholars.

However, a social media post falsely claims that President Joe Biden has cut $250 million in funding that former President Donald Trump pledged to give HBCUs. The post reads, in part: “Biden just revoked the 250 million United Negro College fund that Trump pledged to give historical black colleges for the next 10 years. Still think Biden isn’t a racist dictator?”

In 2019, Trump did sign a bill — the FUTURE Act — that permanently provided $255 million in annual support for HBCUs that had lapsed after Congress didn’t renew the funding.

Biden made no changes to that commitment. In fact, federal funding of HBCUs has increased every year under Biden. The $2.7 billion in HBCU funding through the American Rescue Plan was in addition to that annual funding increase.

The false claim about Biden’s funding for HBCUs first circulated on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in 2021. At the time, Tyrone Couey, president of the National Historically Black Colleges & Universities Alumni Associations Foundation, told the Associated Press that Biden had not made any cuts to HBCUs. Lodriguez Murray, senior vice president of public policy and affairs at the United Negro College Fund, or UNCF, told the AP he was disturbed “that someone dares to use UNCF’s good name” to make false claims.

The social media post misrepresents the role of the UNCF, which does not receive any federal funding, as indicated on its website. The UNCF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit funded through contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations. The organization also lobbies Congress and the president for support.

It’s worth noting that Biden’s budget for fiscal year 2024 proposes $1.04 billion in funding for HBCUs, tribal colleges and universities and Hispanic-serving institutions, as well as $30 million “to provide two years of subsidized tuition for students from families earning less than $125,000” and who are enrolled in four-year HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions.


Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here. Facebook has no control over our editorial content.

Sources

White House. “FACT SHEET: The Biden-⁠Harris Administration’s Historic Investments and Support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” 17 Dec 2021.

White House. “FACT SHEET: State-by-State Analysis of Record $2.7 Billion American Rescue Plan Investment in Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” 7 Mar 2021.

Thurgood Marshall College Fund. “History of HBCUs.” Accessed 31 Jul 2023.

White House Archives. “Education.” Accessed 31 Jul 2023.

Binkley, Collin. “Trump signs bill restoring funding for black colleges.” Associated Press. 19 Dec 2019.

White House. “Fact Sheet: The Biden-⁠Harris Administration’s Historic Investments and Support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” 9 Oct 2021.

United Negro College Fund. “Frequently Asked Questions.” UNCF.org. Accessed 31 Jul 2023.

Dupuy, Beatrice. “Biden did not revoke millions in funding from HBCUs.” Associated Press. 12 Feb 2021.

American Council on Education. “Biden Budget Requests Increase Pell Grants and More Funding for HBCUs, Renews Call for Free Community College.” Acenet.edu. 13 Mar 2023.

Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education Act or the FUTURE Act. Pub. L. 116-91. 19 Dec 2019.

The FUTURE Act (P.L. 116-91): Amendments to the Higher Education Act and Internal Revenue Code.” Congressional Research Service. 9 Jun 2020.

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