Has President Obama Neglected HBCUs?

Brandon Brice, writing at the Washington Times, tackles the question as the federal government prepares to phase in a new set of loan-eligibility requirments for applicants. 

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President Obama with Morehouse College President John Wilson during commencement 2013 (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Brandon Brice, at the Washington Times, asks whether President Barack Obama could do more to help historically black colleges and universities. The federal government prepares to enact a new set of loan-eligibility requirements, which could greatly reduce enrollments.

Imagine if black colleges didn't exist. What if the ability of black students to attend or complete four year institutions and pay for college suddenly just stopped?

That could soon be a reality for thousands of African-American undergraduates who attend historically Black colleges and univesities, or HBCUs. The law is about to create a sudden change in eligibility requirements for parents and students who apply for federal PLUS loans from the U.S. Department of Education.

Recently, the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, the United Negro College Fund, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and other HBCU advocates asked that President Obama and congressional leaders persuade the House and Senate to reconsider their position on PLUS loans reform, specifically focusing on the Higher Education Act. This legislation lays out direct guidelines for the distribution of student aid. Congress could choose to allow students loan eligibility despite past credit history. If Congress does nothing, then this legislation will have a drastic effect on black student applicants and the future economic sustainability of historically Black colleges ...

HBCU Representatives and special interest groups advocating on behalf of black academic institutions have expressed their dismay at the U.S. Department of Education’s sudden decision to change the criteria for PLUS loans, which puts Black institutions with already limited endowments at severe risk.

Read Brandon Brice's entire piece at the Washington Times.

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