In recognition of his work to support historically black colleges and universities, Sen. Chris Coons was recognized in the 2020 HBCU Congressional Honor Roll by the United Negro College Fund, a leading advocate for HBCUs and provider of scholarships for underrepresented students.
Coons was included in the President’s Circle, the top tier of recognition for members of Congress, for his work to fund HBCUs and promote college affordability. In December 2019, Coons worked to pass the FUTURE Act, which provides permanent funding to HBCUs like Delaware State University and simplifies financial aid applications nationwide.
“HBCUs like Delaware State are among our nation’s most important and cherished institutions, and I’m proud that we were able to reach a bipartisan agreement to permanently provide them with the federal funding they deserve,” said Coons. “We have much more work ahead to make college accessible and affordable for all Americans, and supporting HBCUs is an important part of that work. I’m honored to be recognized by the UNCF, and I’m committed to supporting Delaware State and HBCUs around the country in the years to come.”
Coons was pivotal in the passage of the FUTURE Act in 2019. Both chambers of Congress passed a bipartisan agreement brokered by Coons and several leading Republican and Democratic senators to make permanent $255 million in annual funding for HBCUs and minority-serving institutions like DSU. The legislation also simplified the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, for 20 million American families and streamlined income-driven repayment for nearly 8 million borrowers. The FUTURE Act was signed into law Dec. 19, 2019.
The HBCU Congressional Honor Roll recognizes Members of Congress who go above and beyond in advocating for HBCUs and the students they serve. Coons was honored at the second annual State of the HBCU Address, held March 3 in Washington, D.C.