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Monday, April 5, 2021

Secretary of Education Joins Senator Warren and Senator Schumer for Discussion With Student Loan Borrowers and Advocates + HBCU Capital Finance Debt | U.S. Department of Education

Secretary of Education Joins Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Chuck Schumer for a Roundtable Discussion With Student Loan Borrowers and Advocates | U.S. Department of Education
Secretary of Education Joins Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Chuck Schumer for a Roundtable Discussion With Student Loan Borrowers and Advocates

Today, Secretary Cardona joined a roundtable discussion alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Elizabeth Warren to listen as student loan borrowers and advocates shared their stories about the impact student loan debt has had on their lives. The borrowers and advocates included a veteran father of five who was misled by a for-profit college, a recent college graduate, and a mother whose student loan debt led her to experience homelessness. The Secretary listened, asked questions of the advocates and promised to take the information he learned and the stories he heard back to the Department of Education to inform many of the future decisions regarding student loan debt.

"What I am hearing from you all is not only that there is this cloud hanging over your heads, but also that there is this great emotional impact which has severely interrupted your lives. This burden has created a generational impact of distress," said Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. "Behind every case, there's a family, there's a person, there's a story. All of you sharing your stories helps to create a picture of what this is. There's work to be done. I'm committed to this, and your stories have strengthened my resolve to do as much as I can to support you and students like you."

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
  • Allen University
  • Alabama State University
  • Arkansas Baptist College
  • Saint Augustine's University
  • Benedict College
  • Bennett College
  • Bethune–Cookman University
  • Barber-Scotia College
  • Central State University
  • Claflin University
  • Clark Atlanta University
  • Florida A&M University
  • Florida Memorial University
  • Grambling State University
  • Hampton University
  • Harris–Stowe State University
  • Huston-Tillotson University
  • Jarvis Christian College
  • Johnson C. Smith University
  • Lane College
  • Lawson State Community College
  • LeMoyne-Owen College
  • Livingstone College
  • Meharry Medical College
  • Miles College
  • Morgan State University
  • Morehouse College
  • Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Philander Smith College
  • South Carolina State University
  • Shaw University
  • Stillman College
  • Southern University at Baton Rouge
  • Southern University at Shreveport
  • Talladega College
  • Texas College
  • Texas Southern University
  • Tuskegee University
  • University of the Virgin Islands
  • Virginia Union University
  • Voorhees College
  • Wilberforce University
  • Wiley College
  • Xavier University of Louisiana