De’Vante Martin is a freshman mass commincations from St. Jospeh, La.  

HBCU funding is a critical asset to the success of many blacks. I believe that it is needed to improve the number of people who graduate college. Currently, there has been a growing dischord after the $250 million dollar annual plan expired Oct. 1.

The money would pay for campus infrastructure improvements, faculty and curriculum development and student services. Without the money, staff members could face layoffs while students would be left to consider transferring.

Recently, the situation escalated after the Senate failed to agree on a solution for how to fund HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions. The Democrats offered a short-term extension that had already cleared the House. Republicans proposed a permanent funding mechanism as part of a larger package of bipartisan higher education proposals.

Democratic Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland says support for minority- serving institutions should not hang in the balance while leaders try to reform the act. I agree with him completely. Many HBCUs nationwide are already projecting cuts.

I believe the funding is essential to the success of African Americans. HBCUs make up only three percent of the country’s colleges and universities. That may sound low, but they enroll 10 percent of all African Americans. HBCUs produce almost 20 percent of all black graduates. Many black students would not be in school at all if it were not for HBCUs. So, if these cuts follow through, many students will consider transferring or even dropping out. The cost and the culture are what brings a lot of students to school in the first place. It really helps improve the percentage of students that attend and the ones who graduate.