Wiley College President Herman Felton Jr. spent Thursday on Capitol Hill advocating for Wiley College and our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Thursday morning he spoke on a UNCF panel to provide input as the organization prepares to release a white paper on biases in accrediting bodies.
“None of the HBCUs want a free ride. We want clarity, and we want there to be an understanding of how we operate and the circumstances we operate under,” said Felton during the discussion.
Thursday afternoon he spoke at a Capitol Hill briefing presented by the Committee for Education Funding to stress the importance of education funding in the White House 2020 budget. “Without Pell funding, I would not have been able to go to College,” Felton said at the briefing. In reference to growing up poor in Florida in a single parent home, he said, “We didn’t want a handout. We wanted opportunity.”
Felton’s made numerous compelling points regarding the necessity of education funding at the CEF Capitol Hill Briefing. His full statement is below:
“Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, is a historically black college and university(HBCU) founded in 1873. Like most HBCUs, Wiley is an institution that is under-resourced and in need of additional support. Title III of the Higher Education Act (HEA) allows my institution to keep tuition and fee costs low, preserve its physical structures, improve the quality of its academic program offerings, strengthen its academic support services, and modernize its technology infrastructure. This is vitally important not only for the sustainability of my institution, but for the students that we serve. Ninety percent of the undergraduate students on my campus use some form of grant or scholarship aid while 74 percent of the undergraduate students use Federal student loans. Without continued and increased support for HBCUs like Wiley College, and for Pell grants, subsidized student loans, and other student aid, many students would not have access to the education that is producing the next generation of scientists, engineers, and doctors. Education is the surest vehicle to upward mobility, but the President’s budget cuts TRIO, Work Study, SEOG, and other student aid that provides access to college to so many students.”
Wiley College is thankful to President Felton for his tireless work and advocacy on behalf of the College and every HBCU.