RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam visited Virginia Union University in Richmond on Thursday to make major announcements about funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Northam’s proposed two-year budget will make multiple funding increases to private and public HBCUs if passed.

VUU along with Hampton University, the commonwealth’s other private HBCU, will receive an additional $10 million per year in funding. Northam has titled this allocation the HBCU Opportunity Fund and it will be used to provide scholarships for students.

“This funding is important because it will help students who would not have been able to afford a higher education degree. VUU is pleased to be included in the Governor’s proposed budget,” said Dr. Hakim J. Lucas, President and CEO of VUU. “It will be a great opportunity for us to fund full scholarships (tuition, room, and board) for our 50 RVA Scholars. And it also allows us to build a stronger relationship with RPS.” 

While at VUU on Thursday, Northam also stated that the budget proposal will increase the Tuition Assistance Grant Program. The program which currently gives $4,000 to students each year would be upped to $5,000 if the budget gets approved.

Virginia’s public HBCUs, Norfolk State University and Virginia State University, will receive $164 million and $113 million respectively.

“Virginia’s higher education system is parallel to none,” said Governor Northam. “HBCUs have long been underfunded, and we have worked tirelessly over the past four years to fix that. We are closing the funding gap and making college more accessible to all Virginians.”