To stabilize enrollments and help students during the COVID-19 pandemic, 16 historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) will receive a total of $1.76 million in emergency grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The foundation said in a statement that the HBCUs will receive $110,000 each in such grants. The 16 HBCU recipients are Claflin University; Clark Atlanta University; Dillard University; Fisk University; Hampton University; Howard University; Johnson C. Smith University; Lincoln University; Morehouse College; Morgan State University; North Carolina A&T State University; Prairie View A&M University; Spelman College; Tougaloo College; Winston-Salem State University; and Xavier University of Louisiana.
Lincoln University president Brenda Allen said such grants can make a huge difference in this time when college campuses are closed.
“For every $1,000 we can offer a student in grant aid we increase the likelihood that they will graduate by about 20 percent,” said Allen in the statement.
The foundation said HBCUs had already faced chronic funding challenges before the pandemic.
“The COVID-19 epidemic has increased these challenges, which are affecting students’ ability to pay tuition, travel to and from school, and access the internet, thereby jeopardizing their continuous enrollment,” said the foundation in the statement.
Mellon Foundation president Elizabeth Alexander said HBCUs are an integral part of the country’s higher education landscape.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affects underresourced institutions and communities of color, the Mellon Foundation is proud to provide focused support for students attending these vital historically Black schools.”