Will Cash-Strapped HBCUs Survive?

Be it from the government, private sector or alumni, some schools need an intervention. And fast.

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That's a notable reflection of the urgency of these days for some HBCUs.

Said Dillard's Kimbrough: "If you look at the socioeconomics, this group of institutions, HBCUs, serves more poor students than any segment of [higher education] … That brings up the whole question of who gets the kind of education and kind of job that let's them buy their first house. How are we going to close this wealth gap?

"We've got to stop rewarding those who don't need the money anymore … If someone donated $40 million to Dillard's endowment, we can use the interest alone on that to let poor kids go to school for free. After we get past this Katrina deal, that kind of donation is my first big wish."

Katti Gray is a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based freelance writer.

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