Florida proposals would help students at historically black colleges

House and Senate proposals would provide $25 million to help keep students unable to meet tuition and fees from withdrawing from three private historically black colleges and universities in Florida.

Sen. Randolph Bracy, D-Orlando, filed a budget request (Senate 1376) on Monday for consideration during the 2020 legislative session, which starts Jan. 14. Rep. Elizabeth Fetterhoff, R-DeLand, filed a similar proposal (HB 3577) this month.

The proposals would provide financial assistance to students at Bethune-Cookman University, Florida Memorial University and Edward Waters College.

“The goal is to utilize these funds to prevent students from withdrawing from the university (stopping out) due to their inability to pay tuition and fees,” Bracy’s funding request said. “Having the funds for each institution will give the students the ability to continue their education and graduate all while reducing their debt.”

As of Tuesday morning, Bracy’s budget request was one of 383 that had been submitted in the Senate, seeking a total of $487 million. Fetterhoff’s proposal is among 1,342 separate requests submitted in the House, with a combined total of $1.8 billion.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.