On September 27, 2007, the President of the United States of America signed into law the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) of 2007. According to a release from the White House, this initiative is intended to make college education more affordable for low-income students by increasing the funding for Pell Grants. Under this program, the maximum Pell award will increase from $4,310 in 2007 to $5,400 by 2012.
Under the CCRAA, $170 million in additional funding has also been made available to Historically Black Colleges and Universities for fiscal years 2008 and 2009. These funds are primarily for the purpose of better preparing students at these institutions for careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics disciplines and other specified areas such as language instruction in the less-commonly taught languages. With a minimum grant of $500,000 available in each of the two years of this program, UVI is guaranteed to receive at least $1 million through this supplemental program.
Additional investment in Minority Serving Institutions through the CCRAA includes :
- $10 million for Native American Serving, Nontribal Institutions for lab equipment, instruction funding, purchasing equipment, and creating academic tutoring programs;
- $200 million to Hispanic-Serving Institutions to be distributed through a competitive process for institutional efforts to increase the number of low-income students working to earn degrees in STEM fields;
- $30 million for Predominantly Black Institutions to award 50 grants of $600,000 for science, technology, engineering, health education, teacher education, or programs that improve the education performance of African American males;
- $60 million for Tribal Colleges and Universities for lab equipment, instruction funding, purchasing equipment, and establishing or enhancing teacher education and outreach programs;
- $30 million for Alaskan/Hawaiian Native Institutions for lab equipment, instruction funding, purchasing equipment, and creating academic tutoring programs; and
- $10 million to Asian American and Pacific Islander Institutions for lab equipment, instruction funding, purchasing equipment, and creating academic tutoring programs.