Thurgood Marshall College Fund Statement On HBCU Capital Financing U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DC (July 26, 2018) – The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) thanks the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the congressional requesters, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA), and Representative G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) for initiating this important study focused on understanding and increasing participation in the HBCU Capital Financing Program.

The HBCU Capital Financing Program (Program) is a tremendous resource which has provided several publicly-supported HBCUs with access to low-cost loans to perform necessary repairs, renovate existing facilities or initiate planned construction projects. More particularly, TMCF member-schools have successfully used the Program to address significant backlogs of deferred maintenance, build new academic buildings and residence halls and benefit from increased flexibility with institutional capital facilitated by the refinancing of existing debt. Despite these success stories, there are far too many public HBCUs who are clearly not aware of the Program or knowledgeable about the potential benefits and/or savings that can be gained by participating in the same or are restricted from participating due to state law or policy.

We support the report’s recommendations that encourage the Department of Education (ED) to make additional efforts to educate more HBCUs about the existence of and the benefits that can be derived from participation in the Program, and work with state-systems and regulators to address barriers that preclude some public HBCUs from participating in the same. We also support GAO’s recommendation that ED analyze potential modifications to Program participants’ loan repayment obligations and strongly encourage ED to recommend making the deferment option equitable for all HBCUs participating in the Program. Ultimately, all HBCUs should be aware of the HBCU Capital Finance Program, eligible to participate in the same (and have similar flexibility in repayment of approved loans). In furtherance of GAO’s recommendations, TMCF stands ready to assist ED in developing and executing on its outreach plan to publicly-supported HBCUs.

Note: Dr. Harry L. Williams, TMCF president & CEO, is available for further comment.

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ABOUT THURGOOD MARSHALL COLLEGE FUND (TMCF)

Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member-schools include publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs). Publicly-supported HBCUs enroll over 80% of all students attending HBCUs. Through scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs, and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in the K-12 and higher education spaces. The organization is also a source for top employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and good jobs.

TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization. For more information about TMCF, visit: www.tmcf.org.