Bernie Sanders Unveils Plan To Support HBCUs

DES MOINES, IA - NOVEMBER 01: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) exits the stage after speaking during The Iowa Democratic Party Liberty & Justice Celebration on November 1, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa. Fourteen presidential are expected to speak at the event addressing over 12,000 people. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

Bernie Sanders Unveils Plan To Support HBCUs

He’s proposing a multi-billion dollar plan to make private and public HBCUs tuition-free.

Published November 28, 2019

Written by Zayda Rivera

Bernie Sanders has a plan to make historic investments in HBCUs and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) aimed at creating environments for future generations of graduates to thrive. 

“Higher education should be a right for all, not a privilege for the few,” the Democratic Presidential candidate stated on his website.

Sanders proposes a multi-billion-dollar plan called “College for All,” which will allow any student to receive a tuition-free education from any HBCU, including private institutions, regardless of income. 

The plan also addresses the most crucial problem many financially impaired HBCUs face: low or decreased enrollment, according to his website. 

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He announced his plan at a campaign rally on Thursday (Nov. 21) at Morehouse college aimed at energizing young Black voters who spurned his presidential bid three years ago, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports

“The promise of education without the obstacle of tuition and fees will allow more students to attend the HBCU of their choice and increase HBCU enrollment across the country,” Sanders states on his website.  

Some highlights from the plan include the expansion of Pell Grants by enabling students from low-income families to use aid to cover room and board, books, and living expenses, and the removal of barriers for college students to access nutrition assistance benefits, according to his website. 

At the event, he also unveiled a $5 billion plan to train more teachers at HBCUs, and a separate $5 billion program aimed at preparing more Black dentists and other healthcare professionals, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

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“We have to make sure that in African American communities there are the doctors, the nurses, the psychologists are there to provide the care that the people in those communities need,” he said at the event, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. 

According to his website, if elected commander-in-chief, Sanders, 78, will pass the College for All Act to provide at least $48 billion per year to eliminate tuition and fees at four-year public colleges and universities, tribal colleges, community colleges, trade schools, and apprenticeship programs. 

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The website also highlights how through the plan he’ll provide $1.3 billion to private, nonprofit HBCUs and MSIs per year to eliminate or significantly reduce tuition and fees. This funding would support some 200 schools which serve at least 35 percent low-income students.

Sanders also said at the event on Nov. 21, “I come to you today not as the son of a billionaire or a millionaire, but as somebody who proudly comes from a working-class family, who has stood up for the working class, and will take that fight into the White House.”

Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images


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