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Earlier this week, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton unveiled her plan to make college more affordable, but it’s her proposed support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities that could be a game changer.

Under the New College Compact, which would require colleges to keep the cost of higher education down while providing more aid to students, a $25 billion fund would be created “to provide support to private nonprofit schools that serve low- and middle-income students and help them build the skills they need.”

Clinton’s plan would also benefit students at public HBCU campuses by investing more federal funds in schools that enroll low-and-middle-income students, something historically Black institutions do a higher levels than most other intuitions.

Here’s how Clinton’s website says her proposed initiative will benefit all HBCUs:

  • Significantly cuts the interest rates that students pay on any loans they take out so that the government never profits on the loans.
  • Enables students with debt to refinance their loans at low current rates. Parents with PLUS loans will also be able to refinance at current rates.
  • Extends the American Opportunity Tax Credit with its $1,000 refundable credit to low-income families sending their sons and daughters to these schools.
  • Ensures that parents who borrow through the Parent PLUS program will not have to take out such high levels of debt in order to send their children and grandchildren to these schools.
  • Enables students never to have to repay more than 10 percent of their monthly income.
  • Builds on programs such as TRIO and GEAR UP to invest in student support, including child care for students who are parents, to help all students stay in school and boost completion.

 

HBCUs educate more than 300,000 students a year and play a vital role in educating Black Americans. More than 50 percent of Black teachers, 70 percent of Black dentists, and a significant portion of Black STEM degree holders graduate from HBCUs.

Image Credit: Getty Images

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