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Title III General Information

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Program Office: Institutional Service

Program Type: Discretionary Grants

Also Known As: HBCUs


Title III-B authorizes the Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) program award grants to eligible institutions to assist them in strengthening their academic, administrative, and fiscal capabilities. These programs are typically funded through annual discretionary appropriations; and with additional annual mandatory appropriations provided through the FUTURE Act, which extended mandatory funding beyond the fiscal year 2019.

Activities in accordance with section 1068h(a)(2) of this title may include; Institution services; educational equipment, acquisition of real property in connection with the construction, renovation, or additional improvement of campus facilities; to improve the financial and economic literacy designed for students; financial management information; faculty and staff development; and the implementation of other project activities described under the Legislative Allowable Activities (LAA) outlined in the program statute. Endowment development is also an activity with exception that no more than twenty percent of the grant funds may be used for this purpose.


Funds may be used for the purchase, rental, or lease of scientific or laboratory equipment. Also supported are the construction, maintenance, renovation, and improvement of instruction facilities and physical plant. Funds support faculty exchanges and the development of academic instruction in disciplines in which black Americans are underrepresented. Projects may support the purchase of library materials as well as tutoring, counseling, and STEM programs too. Additionally supported are: funds and administrative management; joint use of facilities; establishment or improvement of development offices; establishment or enhancement of programs of teacher education; establishment of outreach programs; and other activities that a grantee proposes in its application that contribute to carrying out the purposes of the program and are approved by the Secretary as part of the review and acceptance of the grant application.


To be eligible to receive a grant under the Strengthening HBCU program, an institution must be designated by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education as a Historically Black College or University. The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, defines an HBCU as an institution established prior to 1964 whose principal mission was, and is, the education of Black Americans, and must—

1. Satisfy Section 322 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA);

2. Be legally authorized by the State in which it is located—

  • To be a junior or community college; or
  • To provide an educational program for which it awards a bachelor's degree; and,

3. Be accredited or pre-accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association.