Maryland’s four historically Black universities will receive more than $12 million in federal funds, officials announced in mid-September.

The U.S. Department of Education will endow Morgan State University, Coppin State University, Bowie State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore with the funds to reinforce retention, academic capabilities and infrastructure, Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Benjamin Cardin said Sept. 17.

“Our state’s higher education system is one of the best in the nation and Historically Black Colleges and Universities are a strong part of that success,” Cardin said in a statement. “Maryland’s HBCUs have a strong record of academic achievement and this grant from the U.S. Department of Education is important because it will provide significant new resources to further enhance academic programming and ensure student success.”

According to a breakdown provided by the Education Department:

-Morgan State will receive $3,890,113 to build an endowment, provide job training in underrepresented disciplines, enhance academic tutoring and counseling and support faculty development.

-Bowie State will receive $3,001,958 to boost enrollment, reform its curriculum and to eliminate the disparity in achievement for first-generation college students.

-Coppin State will receive $2,774,741 to augment its course offerings, amplify retention and graduation rates and increase minority participation in fields of science, technology, nursing, information technology, and geography.

-And University of Maryland, Eastern Shore will receive $2,535,353 to help establish the institution as a leader in doctoral research by boosting recruitment and retention, increasing opportunities for research and development projects and enhancing the value of its academic programs.

The grants are part of a broader $227.9 million disbursement to HBCUs in 19 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The five-year grants, called Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities, were created as part of the Obama administration’s goal of making the quality of American education and graduates more competitive globally.

“HBCUs have made enduring, even staggering contributions to American life despite the steep financial challenges many have faced,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement. “The grants will help these important institutions continue to provide their students with the quality education they need to compete in the global economy.”