The recent budget deal that ended a brief federal government shutdown has forgiven $330 million in debt for four historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
The four schools — Tougaloo College in Mississippi, Xavier University of Louisiana, Dillard University in New Orleans and Southern University at New Orleans — borrowed the money from the federal government to rebuild their campuses after the 2005 hurricane. Just $12.4 million had been paid back before the debt was forgiven earlier this month.
Dillard and Xavier each borrowed more than $160 million. Having to repay the debts would have put both schools in risky financial situations.
“The enormity and importance of this federal assistance is life-changing for our university and students,” Dillard University President Walter M. Kimbrough said in a statement.