The U.S. Department of Education recently discharged approximately $1.6 billion of debt provided to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that participate in the HBCU Capital Financing Program. This action will provide debt relief to 45 HBCUs – 13 public institutions and 32 private institutions.
“Our HBCUs have long been on an uneven playing field, financially, as compared to many other postsecondary institutions,” said Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “This relief will further support these mission-critical institutions and help to ensure they have more resources to educate and graduate students during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) signed into law in December 2020 provided authority and funding to discharge debts held by HBCUs under the HBCU Capital Financing Program. In combination with funds provided in the American Rescue Plan, signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021, and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), HBCUs will also receive more than $5 billion through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund programs.
Since 1994, the HBCU Capital Financing Program has provided low-cost loans to finance and refinance infrastructure improvements at the nation’s HBCUs.
Discharging these debts helps enable these institutions to focus their resources on supporting students, faculty, and staff for the duration of the COVID-19 national emergency. HBCUs can dedicate more funds to innovating the academic experience, supporting the socio-emotional development of their students, and continue as the leading producers of Black doctors and teachers during a time when the United States needs them most.
Institutions Receiving HBCU Capital Finance Debt Discharges
Alabama A&M University
Alabama State University
Arkansas Baptist College
Saint Augustine’s University
Central State University
Clark Atlanta University
Florida A&M University
Florida Memorial University
Grambling State University
Harris–Stowe State University
Jarvis Christian College
Johnson C. Smith University
Lawson State Community College
Meharry Medical College
Morgan State University
Morehouse School of Medicine
Philander Smith College
South Carolina State University
Southern University at Baton Rouge
Southern University at Shreveport
Texas Southern University
University of the Virgin Islands
Virginia Union University
Xavier University of Louisiana