The U.S. Department of Education recently announced that eight private historically Black colleges and universities that are members of the United Negro College Fund, will be the first beneficiaries of the deferment authority of the HBCU Capital Finance Program.
The HBCU Capital Finance program allowed colleges and universities to take out low-interest loans to restore building and facilities on their campuses. But due to the 2008-09 recession and declining enrollments at some HBCUs, many institutions have had difficulty making payments on their loans. As a result, Congress appropriated $10 million that will allow a select group of HBCUs to defer payments on these loans and to receive refunds for payments made this year.
Lodriguez Murray, vice president for public policy and government affairs for the United Negro College Fund and a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, noted that “without a doubt, this is a landmark congressional and administrative achievement. This shows that in an era of hyper partisanship, educational institutions like HBCUs that have a mission-driven focus on African Americans, first-generation college students and those from lower-income backgrounds may well be the last item remaining that Congress can agree on in a bipartisan manner.”
The eight HBCUs that will have their payments deferred are Bennett College, Florida Memorial University, Huston-Tillotsen University, St. Augustine’s University, Shaw University, Voorhees College, Wilberforce University, and Wiley College.