From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Anderson-Mayer State Aid Act

(start date: 1936  -  end date: 1966) In 1936, the Kentucky General Assembly approved the Anderson-Mayer State Aid Act. Happy Chandler (Democratic) was the Governor of Kentucky. The act initially provided $5,000 annually for African Americans to attend out-of-state colleges in order to pursue degrees that were not available to them in Kentucky. The Day Law (Tim Talbott blog) demanded that whites and African Americans not attend the same schools or higher education institutions in Kentucky. If the segregated African American colleges did not offer a particular degree, then the student went out of state. The Anderson-Mayer State Aid Act was well-intending, but what it did was provide an avenue for some of the brightest African American students to leave the state and not come back.

The Anderson-Mayer State Aid Act was a cooperative effort of Charles W. Anderson, Jr. (1907-1960) and Stanley B. Mayer (1894-1970). The aim was to provide more and better higher education opportunities for African Americans in Kentucky, while working around the education segregation laws. Charles W. Anderson, Jr. was from Louisville, KY, he was a Republican. He was a lawyer and had been admitted to the Kentucky Bar in 1933. Three years later, in 1936, he was the first African American elected to the Kentucky Legislature. He introduced the Anderson-Mayer Aid Bill in the House of Representatives. Stanley Benedict Mayer was also born in Louisville, KY. Mayer was white and he was a lawyer. He was the State Senator of the 38th District. Stanley B. Mayer introduced the Anderson-Mayer State Aid Bill in the Senate.

There were guidelines. In order for a student to be eligible for a grant from the Anderson-Mayer State Aid Fund, first and foremost, the student had to be African American. The student had to have been a resident of Kentucky for five years. No more than $175.00 was allowed per student per school year. What each student actually got was tuition money, which was often less than $175.00. An application had to be filed with the Kentucky State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Transcripts had to be filed with the application. Applicants had to meet the deadline, and they would only be considered for one quarter or semester at a time. Students who already had an undergraduate degree (graduate students) would be considered first. Students had to have been accepted in the out-of-state institution and program before payments would be made from the fund. The first grants from the Anderson-Mayer State Aid Fund were made in the summer of 1936 to 22 students at a totaled of $1,046.83.

The Anderson-Mayer State Aid Fund was exhausted by 1939 and the Kentucky Governor added money from an emergency fund. The fund level was raised from $5,000 to $7,500 annually. In 1942, the Kentucky Department of Education ceased as the administrator and turned over the Anderson Mayer State Aid Act Fund to Rufus B. Atwood, the president of Kentucky State College for Negroes (now Kentucky State University). For 30 years, the Anderson-Mayer State Aid Act provided higher education funding specifically for African American students attending college out-of-state due to segregation laws in Kentucky. The Anderson-Mayer State Aid Act was finally repealed in 1966.

For more see the following sources:

Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones, "1936 - Anderson-Mayer Act" on pp.108-109, Chapter V. The Down, Up, and Down of Desegregation. 1936-1963.

Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Chapter 43, 1936.

Higher education for Negroes. Aid under the Anderson-Mayer Bill. Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, June 30, 1937, pp. 43-45.

Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Chapter 184 (H.B. 475), Section 8, 1966.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Franklin County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Frankfort, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Anderson, Charles W., Jr.
NKAA Entry: Atwood, Rufus Ballard
NKAA Source: Library service to African Americans in Kentucky, from the Reconstruction Era to the 1960s
NKAA Source: Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Passed
NKAA Source: Biennial report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kentucky with accompanying documents for the two years beginning July 1 ... and ending June 30 ... (periodical)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  Shobe, Benjamin Franklin
NKAA Entry:  Stone, Bessie Tucker Russell

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Anderson-Mayer State Aid Act,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 26, 2022,

Last modified: 2020-10-06 22:12:14