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University News

New Funding Opportunities on the Horizon For California's Higher Education Community


August 04, 2003

California colleges and universities reeling from state budget cutbacks and an uncertain economy are turning to a Hispanic higher education association for welcome new federal government funding opportunities.

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), which represents 93 higher education institutions in California alone, including Cal State Fullerton, is advocating for multimillion -dollar federal funding assistance for cash-strapped campuses nationwide.

The leadership of HACU and some of its more than 300 member colleges and universities will host a news conference at 1 p.m. Thursday, August 7, at the Hyatt Regency Orange County in Garden Grove to announce its newest strategies to attract more support for campuses that serve large, ethnically diverse and often lower-income student populations.

“HACU has led successful efforts each year to win record new federal funding and private-sector support for higher-education institutions serving the largest concentrations of Hispanics and other ‘emerging majority’ populations. For states such as California suffering state budget cutbacks, our work on the federal level is more important than ever,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores.

HACU chose California to host HACU’s 17th Annual Conference, “Hispanic Higher Education Success: America’s Path to the Future,” Oct. 18-21 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County. Evolving legislation and cost-effective partnership opportunities of benefit to higher education institutions and their diverse enrollment will be a chief topic at this year’s national conference.

Cal State Fullerton will host a preconference Youth Leadership Day Oct. 17, when more than 600 high school students from surrounding communities will visit the campus for college preparation workshops.

HACU since 1998 has been instrumental in winning multimillion-dollar annual funding for Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) in California, 25 other states and Puerto Rico in the form of five-year grants ranging upwards to $8 million-plus in value under Title V of the Higher Education Act. Dozens of California HSIs already have benefited from Title V grants.

The number of California higher education institutions becoming eligible to be HSIs, which have a student enrollment that is at least 25 percent Hispanic, has escalated in recent years as Hispanics have become the largest ethnic population in California and in the United States.

HACU and its allies won a $93 million appropriation for Title V grants in federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2003. This year, HACU is asking Congress to nearly double that appropriation to $175 million for FY 2004. HACU also is asking Congress to expand the eligibility for Title V funds to “emerging HSIs,” which would substantially increase the number of higher education institutions in California and other states that would become eligible for these funds.

In addition to the general infrastructure support provided by competitive Title V grants, HACU has forged partnerships with federal agencies that have led to millions of dollars in annual funding now available for the Hispanic higher education community from agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

HACU’s annual conferences have become national platforms for rallying support for such federal support, as well as to focus the attention of corporations and philanthropic foundations on the need to invest now in the diverse student populations that will one day make up such a huge proportion of the nation’s workforce, taxpayer base and leadership ranks.

This year’s conference in Orange County will detail how higher education institutions in California and other states stand to benefit from legislation now winding through Congress, as well as provide the latest information on corporate and philanthropic resources for the Hispanic higher education community.

College students of every ethnicity will be invited to apply for scholarships to attend this year’s conference, where they can tap the latest available financial aid and future job opportunities.

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For more information, contact HACU Public Affairs Director Daniel Casillas at HACU national headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, at (210) 692-3805. Ext. 3249. Or visit www.hacu.net.




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