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Sewell achieves House passage of $70 million in federal funding for HBCUs

Gabby Dance

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U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, announced on Wednesday that $70 million in federal funding will be made available to both public and private Historically Black Colleges and Universities for loan deferment and facilities renovation.

The House passed this request after Sewell and a group of colleagues wrote a letter in March urging them to provide funding in 2020 for the HBCU Capital Loan deferment authority.

“The seven HBCUs in Alabama’s 7th Congressional District are built upon rich legacies that continue to leave a lasting impact on the world around us, preparing graduates for competitive jobs in our 21st century economy,” Sewell said. “The bill passed today provides over $50 million to our nation’s HBCUs for the repair and renovation of facilities and $20 million to ease the financial burdens of our most vulnerable institutions, like Stillman College, by allowing these historic institutions to continue providing students with high-quality educational opportunities.”

The HBCU Capital Financing Loan Program gives funds to HBCUs at a lower interest rate than market rates. These loans have helped HBCUs build infrastructures on their campuses in the aftermath of the 2008 economic recession.

The bill will provide $50,484,000 for the HBCU Capital Financing Loan Program in 2020 — $10 million more than was provided to HBCUs in 2019.

It also provides $20 million for the deferment of loans made under the program for financially struggling HBCUs, like Stillman College in Tuscaloosa.

Sewell’s district has seven HBCUs, tied for the most of any district in the country.

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