JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Edward Waters College in Jacksonville is among 97 historically black colleges and universities that are receiving grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

While EWC will receive $1,297,176, Florida A&M University will receive $6.6 million, Bethune-Cookman University will receive $2.9 million and Albany State College was awarded $3.7 million.

The five-year grants will fund curriculum reform; counseling and student service programs; establishing teacher education programs designed to qualify students to teach; acquiring real-estate property in connection with construction, renovations, or additions that may improve campus facilities; and funding faculty and staff development.

In addition, funds may be used for the purchase, rental, or lease of scientific or laboratory equipment and the development of academic instruction in disciplines in which African-Americans are underrepresented.

"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 release. “The grants will help these important institutions continue to provide their students with the quality education they need to compete in the global economy.”