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Federal funding for HBCUs has increased by millions of dollars in the Senate’s latest spending bill, and we have Senators Kamala Harris and Doug Jones to thank! Together the duo leads the fight for increased spending for these institutions.

“HBCUs are critical to the foundation of our higher education system, and provide opportunities for some of the nation’s most promising and deserving students,” said Harris in a statement. “I am pleased funds in this bipartisan budget agreement will be invested in the future of these young people. Ensuring HBCUs have the federal support and resources they need to thrive for generations to come is one of my top priorities as a proud HBCU graduate.”

Photo by Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Howard University graduate helped increase the federal spending budget for HBCUs by 14% taking it from $244.7 million in the 2017 fiscal year to $279.6 million in the 2018 fiscal year. Historically black graduate schools will also benefit with a budget increase from $63.3 million to $72.3 million.

Additionally, Jones emphasized just how important HBCUs are specifically to the state of Alabama and said in a statement, “Alabama’s HBCUs generate $1.5 billion in total economic impact for the state. Additionally, more than 15,000 jobs are generated for local and regional economies, and increase their graduates lifetime earnings by 56 percent over what they would have earned without a college degree. Alabama is home to more HBCUs than any other state in the country.”

HBCUs provide black students with unique and empowering college experiences. Atlanta’s new mayor Keisha Lance BottomsUNCENSORED‘s Rick Ross, Spike Lee, Taraji P. Henson and many other notable public figures attended HBCUs. Check out the gallery below to see more!

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