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The United Negro College Fund announced a $25 million grant Friday from Koch Industries Inc. and the Charles Koch Foundation -- a large donation from the conservative powerhouse Koch name that Democrats have sought to vilify heading into the 2014 midterm elections.
The UNCF, known for its iconic motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste," supports historically black colleges and universities and provides scholarships.
From the donation, $18.5 million will go toward nearly 3,000 merit-based scholarships to African-American students, and $6.5 million will go toward general support for historically black colleges and universities and the UNCF.
African-Americans are a key constituency within the Democratic Party. But Michael Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF, said that since the organization's inception in 1944, it has reached out to people of all backgrounds for support without an "deological lens" because it is in everyone's interest. The organization has awarded $100 million in scholarships to more than 12,000 students at 900 schools this year alone, but he said the need is so great that the organization turns away nine out of every 10 applicants, or about 100,000 students annually.