The recent budget deal that ended the brief government shutdown included an important provision for four historically Black colleges and universities that suffered considerable damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The deal forgave $330 million in debt that the four educational institutions had borrowed from the federal government to rebuild their campuses. Only $12.4 million had been paid back.
The four HBCUs that had their loans forgiven were Tougaloo College in Mississippi, Xavier University of Louisiana, Dillard University in New Orleans, and Southern University-New Orleans.
Dillard University and Xavier University each borrowed more than $160 million. Having to repay this debt would have placed all the educational institutions in a precarious financial situation.
“The enormity and importance of this federal assistance is life changing for our university and students,” said Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough, president of Dillard University.