HBCU presidents at a new crossroads

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Future for HBCU presidents

Historically Black colleges and universities continue to play a significant role in the college retention and graduation rates among African-American students.

For example, HBCUs make up 3 percent of the nation’s colleges and universities but produce 50 percent of Black public school teachers, 80 percent of Black judges and 40 percent of baccalaureate degrees awarded to Black students in STEM fields.

While their role is still relevant, change may be required in how the institutions are governed to address the economic environment.

In an open letter, NAACP President Benjamin Jealous laments the closing of Saint Paul’s College and notes it as a warning for other HBCUs and the need for the federal government to revamp its funding and support for students. Jealous recommends that Congress increase funds for Pell Grants and permanently correct the Parent Plus Loan problem.

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