On Thursday, the Senate approved a bi-partisan bill sponsored by Alabama Sen. Doug Jones to permanently renew federal funding to historically black colleges, universities and other minority-serving institutions.
Federal funding for the schools ended at the end of September.
The House still needs to approve the bill and get the president’s signature, but students told WAAY 31 they’re already breathing a sigh of relief.
"We all need the money we all need the encouragement and that's kind of a step to encouragement," Elysia Sage, a student at Alabama A&M said.
Sage is a sophomore and plays in the marching band. She said classmates are already dealing with issues because of a lack of funding.
"Just recently we got our scholarships cut because we're getting too many students, it's a lot of students and then a lot of upperclassmen still don't have housing," Sage said.
Thursday's vote in the Senate will permanently provides $255 million a year to historically black colleges and universities plus other minority-serving instiutions.
Other students told WAAY 31 it’s easy to see the difference in funding at HBCU's compared to most colleges.
"Most people see it most students will let you know that the amenities the buildings they are not up to par," Charles Payton, a student at Alabama A&M said.
These students know the House of Representatives must still approve the bill but are hopeful this is a step in the right direction.
"I definitely have faith especially with bills like this that there is some hope for HBCUs, we're getting more funding and kind of keep up," he said.
"We have hope in the future, like somebody believes in us like we can make it," Sage said.
The proposed legislation will also work to simplify the application for federal student aid. Jones said this is a long overdue step and will remove barriers for students across the country who want to get a college degree.