WASHINGTON ? Today, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), ranking member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01), and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), released a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Action Needed To Improve Participation in Education's HBCU Capital Financing Program. The members requested this report to review the capital finance needs of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
“This report identifies important challenges that act as a barrier to a thriving network of HBCUs, including policies that unfairly hinder the financial health of these institutions. I strongly support the GAO’s recommendations and call on the Department of Education to work with Congress to make the necessary changes which will allow HBCUs to invest in their students and in their facilities,” said Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03), House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
“HBCUs play an important role in providing opportunities for students historically left out of higher education, and this report makes it clear we must do more to support these colleges to get the funding and resources they need to help their students succeed,” said Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. “As we work to make college more affordable and accessible for underrepresented students, I urge Congress and the Department of Education to work together to support investments in infrastructure at HBCUs to foster a safe, welcoming, and supportive environment to help students succeed.”
“HBCUs are integral to the foundation of our higher education system, but sadly they have faced significant funding challenges,” said Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01). “It is critical that we ensure HBCUs have the federal support and resources they need to continue to thrive for generations to come. This report shed light on the challenges that still exist when it comes to access to funding at HBCUs.”
“Historically Black Colleges and Universities, such as Lincoln University and Cheyney University in Pennsylvania, play an important role in our Nation’s education system. Unfortunately, these critical institutions have faced financing challenges in recent years. This report helps to shine a light on the issues they face and provides recommendations on ways that the Department of Education can strengthen institutions and the many students they serve,” said Senator Bob Casey (D-PA).
The success of HBCUs remains critical to providing students an equitable opportunity in our higher education system. To help HBCUs facing challenges accessing funding for capital projects, including through discrimination in the bond market, in 1992, Congress created the HBCU Capital Financing Program to provide HBCUs with access to low cost loans.
This report provides a path to ensure HBCUs can continue to fulfill their vital role in higher education for generations to come. The GAO recommends the Department of Education (1) include direct outreach to individual HBCUs and state systems and (2) analyze the potential benefits and costs of offering loan modifications in the program.