Request Line: (870) 277-1080 [email protected]
Text Your Gift to KLEK1 to 44-321 LEARN MORE

Your Community Radio Station is possible thanks to this supporter!  Become an underwriter.

Helping More Arkansans Access Higher Learning

Written by Press Release

January 6, 2020

Late last year, Congress took a historic, critical step toward expanding access to higher education and supporting the nation’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs). In December, bipartisan legislation was approved and signed into law by President Trump that provides permanent funding for HBCUs while also reforming federal financial aid to make it easier and simpler for those who rely on it. 

The Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education Act, or FUTURE Act, promises to help make college more accessible and invests in the institutions that serve populations that traditionally see less college participation than their counterparts. The bill does two specific things to serve these ambitions. 

First, it provides permanent annual funding for HBCUs and MSIs and guarantees they will receive at least $250 million per year. That funding will come from savings to the federal government as a result of the law’s measure to allow the sharing of tax data between the IRS and Department of Education, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will save $2.8 billion over ten years. 

The FUTURE Act also makes the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) form more user-friendly and shorter by allowing students to bypass up to 22 questions, as well as reduce duplicative and burdensome verification processes. These steps to ensure minority-serving institutions are well-positioned to continue providing quality educational opportunities into the future and help students better access tools and resources to pay for college are likely game-changers. 

Arkansas is home to four HBCUs – the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Philander Smith College, Arkansas Baptist College and Shorter College. I’ve met with administrators and faculty at these schools who have emphasized the need for consistent funding while also demonstrating their value to their communities and our state. 

I recognize the historical significance and positive educational impact of these schools in Arkansas and across the country. They provide an immense source of pride and accomplishment not only for the African American community, but also for all Americans, which is why I strongly believed in the need to maintain structures for the opportunities they promised so many aspiring scholars. 

As a former school board member in Rogers, I have consistently sought to ensure that Arkansans receive the very best education we can offer them. The FUTURE Act was a commonsense, bipartisan success because of its clear objectives to support and sustain minority-serving higher learning institutions while also helping to make student aid easier to understand and apply for. In fact, it passed the Senate unanimously. 

Providing students who want to go to college the opportunity to do so has helped transform our society. We have an obligation to make sure that students from diverse backgrounds have the same access to higher education and that the institutions specifically created to serve their unique needs are poised to improve and grow. That’s why the FUTURE Act is such an important achievement that we should celebrate in Arkansas and across the U.S.

Original article source: | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Related Articles

A Turning Point for the Right to Life

For nearly 50 years, Americans who have held to a belief that all human life is sacred and valuable have grieved the fact that the United States is among a Read more

Keeping Seniors Safe from Scams

More shoppers turn to online retail to fulfill Christmas wish lists and fill stockings. As we search for gifts to give loved ones this holiday season it’s important to safeguard Read more

The Most Expensive Thanksgiving Ever

There is perhaps no holiday with a stronger connection to food than Thanksgiving. Family and friends gather around the table to enjoy favorites like turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce Read more

A Bright Future Ahead for Arkansas

I am continuously impressed by the enthusiasm and eagerness demonstrated by Arkansans in schools around our state who are committed to making a difference. I believe in the importance of Read more


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Your Community Radio Station is possible thanks to this supporter!  Become an underwriter.

Pin It on Pinterest