Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: December 9, 2021
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alenaa Yarmosky,

Governor Northam Announces Major New Funding for Historically Black College and Universities—Total Soars 87% Over Term to More Than $500 Million

Major new funding for operations, building construction, creation of first-ever HBCU Opportunity Fund, and increasing Tuition Assistance Grant to $5,000, a 50% increase over the past four years

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today continued his ‘Thank You, Virginia’ Tour, announcing that his proposed two-year state budget will increase funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to record numbers. The proposal also raises the Tuition Assistance Grant to $5,000 from $4,000. TAG helps Virginia students attend private colleges, including HBCUs.
The Governor’s proposal includes the creation of an unprecedented HBCU Opportunity Fund, to provide scholarships for students at Virginia’s eligible private HBCUs. Virginia Union University and Hampton University together will receive $10 million per year. Governor Northam is proposing $277 million in funding for operating costs and building construction at Virginia’s two public HBCUs. Norfolk State University will receive $164 million and Virginia State University will receive $113 million. The total budget amount going to Virginia’s HBCUs is $297 million.
The budget will allocate an additional $20 million in 2023 and $20 million in 2024 to increase the affordability of Norfolk State and Virginia State University. More students will be able to access a high-quality education thanks to these state funds.
“Virginia's higher education system is parallel to none,” said Governor Northam. “HBCUs have long been underfunded, and we have worked tirelessly over the past four years to fix that. We are closing the funding gap and making college more accessible to all Virginians.”
Virginia’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities have been systemically underfunded for years. In 2019, Governor Northam proposed and allocated nearly $300 million in new funding for Virginia State University and Norfolk State University, as well as additional capital support and funding for programs to help first-generation students overcome barriers to graduation.
“HBCUs are a critical asset to Virginia’s higher education system and this funding will be game-changing for these institutions,” said Secretary of Education Frances Bradford. “Proper funding for these schools means better resources for students. Students will also benefit from increasing TAG Program funding. These grants help Virginians overcome barriers to going to college.”
“This new investment permanently changes the way Virginia invests in HBCU’s like Virginia Union and Hampton,” said Dr. Hakim Lucas, President of Virginia Union University, the historic university founded at Devil’s Half Acre in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom when the Civil War ended. “This is a new beginning, and a dramatic step forward.”
Governor Northam’s proposal also calls for an increase in the Tuition Assistance Grant Program from $4,000 to $5,000 per student over the next two years. The TAG Program provides grants to Virginia residents who attend eligible accredited private, nonprofit colleges and universities in Virginia.
In 2019, Governor Northam proposed raising the TAG Program maximum award money from $3,400 to $4,000 per student. If the new proposal is adopted by the legislature, funding under the TAG Program would have increased by 50% during Governor Northam’s term.
Governor Northam announced his proposal for additional funding to public HBCUs at Norfolk State University.
He announced the creation of the HBCU Opportunity Fund and an increase to the TAG Program at Virginia Union University in Richmond.
Virginia Offers a World-Class Education
Under Governor Northam, early childhood education is now available to more Virginia families than ever before
●     Since 2018 Virginia has more than doubled public Pre-K funding to serve a record total of more than 25,000 three and four year olds.
●     Virginia has expanded access to affordable child care to more families than ever before, serving over 27,000 children and exceeding pre-pandemic participation.
●     The Commonwealth has received national attention for investing in an early childhood teacher incentive grant program that has cut turnover in half in participating classrooms.
Virginia’s tuition-free community college now helps working people who choose career paths in high-demand fields.
●     You may be eligible, if you pursue a career in Healthcare, Information Technology, Manufacturing and Skilled Trades, Early Childhood Education, or Public Safety.
●     The message is simple: Get skilled, get a job, give back.
Virginia’s K-12 public schools benefit from record funding:
●     Virginia has increased teacher salaries more than 10% under Governor Northam--the largest increase in 15 years.
●     Virginia is helping students by hiring more counselors. School counselors are now responsible for 325 students on average, down from as many as 500.
Virginia is making it easier to go to college.
●     Virginia has made the largest-ever investment in Historically Black Colleges and Universities—$328 million over three years. This includes $297 million for capital projects and nearly $32 million in operating support.
●     Students attending Virginia high schools are now eligible for financial aid and in-state tuition, regardless of their citizenship status.
Virginia is expanding need-based financial aid for public undergraduate students—a $64 million investment is more than any Governor’s administration in Virginia history. And students at private universities benefit too—thanks to Virginia increasing the Tuition Assistance Grant to $4,000 per student up from $3,400 previously.
Dec 9 2021

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