Factsheets

Hillary Clinton’s New College Compact Benefits Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

Historically Black Colleges and Universities play a critical role in our higher education system. They provide African Americans and other minorities with a quality education, and increase the chances of social mobility and economic security for hundreds of thousands of students each year who have historically faced discriminatory and unequal treatment.

The role of HBCUs has never been more vital, graduating the majority of African American teachers in our country, nearly 1 in 5 African Americans who earn science and engineering BAs, and HBCUs are serving more than 300,000 students. Predominantly Black Institutions also play a critical role and will be eligible for all of the supports for HBCUs in Hillary Clinton’s college plan.

Hillary Clinton knows the critical role that HBCUs play in extending opportunity to underserved students. The New College Compact will support, encourage, and reward the HBCUs that help our students succeed so students can complete college, without costs being a barrier or debt holding them back.

For all public HBCUs, under the New College Compact students should never have to take out a loan to earn four-year degrees and will not have to pay a dime to earn two-year degrees because the plan:

  • Invests new federal funds in states that commit to investing more in public HBCUs, meaning that HBCUs benefit from additional federal as well as state support under her plan.
  • Invests more funds when public schools enroll low- and middle-income students, meaning that HBCUs, which play a key role in educating underserved students, will be eligible for proportionally more support.
  • Ensures that Pell recipients at these public HBCUs can direct their full Pell funding toward living expenses.

For all private HBCUs, Clinton’s plan:

  • Creates a dedicated $25 billion fund to provide support to private nonprofit schools that serve low- and middle-income students and help them build the skills they need, of which private HBCUs are a prime example.

This plank in Clinton’s plan was inspired by the America’s College Promise Act, introduced in Congress in July by Rep. Bobby Scott, which is designed to create new pathways to four-year degrees at HBCUs as well as other MSIs. The new funds help the schools lower attendance costs and implement supports to improve student outcomes. Clinton knows that private HBCUs serve an important public mission, and that’s why she makes a significant commitment to these schools in her plan.

And for all HBCUs, both public and private, Clinton’s plan

  • 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.