Bernie Sanders Unveils New Plan to Strengthen Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Bernie Sanders, the U.S. Senator from Vermont and candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, announced a comprehensive new plan to support historically Black colleges and universities.

Here are some of the highlights of the Sanders’ plan:

  • Any student will be eligible to receive a tuition-free education from any HBCU, including private institutions, regardless of income.
  • The plan will expand Pell Grants by enabling students from low-income families to use aid to cover room and board, books, and living expenses.
  • Because Black college students are 19 percent more likely to experience hunger than White students, the would remove barriers for college students to access nutrition assistance benefits by stripping the program of work requirements.
  • Establish a dedicated fund of $5 billion to create and expand teacher-training programs at HBCUs with the goal of diversifying the teacher workforce.
  • Establish a dedicated fund of $5 billion to create and expand medical and dental provider training programs at HBCUs.
  • Ensure equal pay for equal work by addressing the pay disparity between HBCU staff and faculty in comparison to employees at neighboring institutions.
  • Cancel the $1.6 billion existing HBCU loan debt from the Capital Financing Program.
  • Create a $5 billion fund dedicated to providing capital improvement and infrastructure grants to HBCUs.
  • Cancel the entire $1.6 trillion in outstanding student debt for the 45 million borrowers who are weighed down by the crushing burden of student debt.

(This post is not an endorsement of any candidate. Several other candidates also have unveiled detailed plans to help HBCUs. JBHE will explore the plans of other candidates in future posts.)

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