Trump names new advisory chairman, vows to make HBCUs 'a major priority'

HBCUs are "a major priority of our administration,” Trump said on Tuesday.

“I know he will advance the cause of HBCU’s - a major priority of our administration,” Trump said of Taylor.

During that time, former director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison Omarosa Newman, worked as a liaison to help in the administration's outreach to leaders from HBCUs. A number of those leaders were present during the signing of an executive order that pledged support for the institutions last year.

After the meeting, some of those leaders, including former Morehouse College president John Wilson, expressed disappointment.

"Many had high hopes about this meeting. There was much advance chatter about it being “historic,” and there were many signals from key Trump administration officials that they would surprise HBCUs with favorable treatment," he wrote the school's community in March after last year's White House meeting.

"In general, the meetings were a troubling beginning to what must be a productive relationship," he added. "Trust that the HBCU community will continue to press for the kind of funding that educational excellence and national competitiveness require!"

During Tuesday's announcement, Trump touted the "great strides" he said his administration had undertaken to benefit HBCUs and cited a half-billion dollars in his budget proposal for HBCU-focused programs.

But, reports by ABC News also show that the 2018 fiscal budget, which the president signed and approved, results in a reduction of funding for federal work-study, Pell Grant reserves and student loan subsidies, according to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).

Some estimates put the number of HBCU students relying on Pell Grants to help cover tuition costs at about 90 percent, roughly 39 of the general college student population relies on such aid.

Enrollment at these schools rose by 32 percent between 1976 and 2015, going from 223,000 to 293,000.

"Every year, over 300,000 students turn to these institutions for their education and to prepare them for their careers," Taylor said. "This president's advisory board can be a nexus between higher educational institutions and employers."