NORFOLK, Va. — There is a lot of money on the table for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. All of it is extra funding from the American Rescue Plan.
Over the past year, a record $2.7 billion went to HBCUs across the country. The American Rescue Plan requires half of the money to go towards financial relief for students.
The White House released a state-by-state breakdown of where the cash flowed over the past year.
In our area, HBCUs got almost $100 million combined from the American Rescue Plan.
In Virginia: five HBCUs got more than $141 million – including $52 million for Norfolk State University and $31 million for Hampton University.
In North Carolina: ten HBCUs received more than $300 million – including $15 million for Elizabeth City State University.
Lisa McClinton, ECSU's vice chancellor for business and finance, said they’re using a lot of the money to cover tuition and help students get their degrees.
“This money has been a blessing to our campus as well as our students," McClinton said. “We probably gave $5.4 million to student grants. This is money that goes directly to students.”
Hampton University Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer Doretha Spells said the university paid off outstanding student balances and spent money on pandemic-related expenses.
“We used it for COVID testing, which we still continue to test our students, faculty, and staff," Spells said. "Because of these funds, Hampton University didn’t miss a beat.”
HBCU students have their own ideas for the money, like Alexandra Butts, a junior at NSU.
“As a student, I know most of the money usually goes towards athletes," Butts said. "For me, personally I’m not in sports. So I feel like it could go towards, definitely our food options."