Category Archives: Finance

Finance issues affecting historically black colleges and universities

Family Dollar Poised to Save Morris Brown?

Multiple outlets in and around Atlanta are reporting that Morris Brown College has filed a $20 million dollar bankruptcy plan in federal court, outlining details that would save much of the campus’ physical plant and operations, but yielding a portion of land to its potential corporate partner, Family Dollar. From Creative Loafing: Atlanta:

The deal, which will be defended in court on August 1, would pay off Morris Brown’s creditors to the tune of $7.5 million. Another $7.5 million would be used to pay bond holders of the properties FD LLC plans to purchase – including Middleton Twin Towers dormitory; Jordan Hall; a portion of Herndon Stadium; and a parking lot located between Mitchell Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The other $5 million would go toward the school’s operating costs after bankruptcy, which is key in the school’s quest to secure new accreditation from Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools.

Officials from Morris Brown have not commented publicly on details of the plan, but residents in the area are concerned that the plan will allow for unwanted commercial development in the area. Details about the bankruptcy plan come weeks after MBC trustees rejected a proposal from Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reid, a $10 million offer to MBC to pay off the college’s debts, but calling for the school to relinquish many of its physical assets.




Howard Deans Concerned About ‘Fiscal Mismanagement’

Howard-University-logoDeans at Howard University have publicly expressed disapproval of the university’s financial management, according to a recent story in the Washington Post.  The university’s Council of Deans recently wrote to Board Chairman Addison Rand to express concern with dwindling research spending, staff cuts and tuition increases that they say have put the university in jeopardy on several fronts. From the Post:

“We believe this direction places the very survival of the University at risk,” the deans wrote in the June 6 letter addressed to Howard trustees.

Howard President Sidney A. Ribeau rejected the allegations, saying the university is making tough decisions to secure its future and remains in strong shape.

“There is not any kind of mismanagement administratively or financially that is damaging the university,” Ribeau said in an interview Saturday. “Unequivocally.”

The letter comes just weeks after the publishing of a letter from Howard Board Vice-Chairwoman Renee’ Higginbotham Brooks, scolding the board and warning of potential closure without removal of leadership and correction of its fiscal planning.




Johnson C. Smith Receives $600K to Fund S.T.E.M. Scholarships

Johnson C. Smith University, one of the emerging historically black colleges in the training of professionals in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics industries, has received more than $600,000 from the National Science Foundation for student scholarships in the STEM majors.

The scholarships will help 96 students close gaps in funding for tuition. From the release:

“We know that college affordability continues to be a challenge for underrepresented minorities in STEM,” said Dawn McNair, principal investigator for the  NSF S-STEM ASPIRE Program. “Because of the financial challenges that exist, students often pursue other means of financial support. Some may  work fulltime while juggling  a full STEM course load. Others may stop attending for short periods in order to make enough money to pay tuition, transfer to another institution or drop out altogether.”

HBCU Students Confront Grim Loan Debt Realities

While Americans continue to recover from what many are calling the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, recent college graduates find themselves buried in more debt than ever experienced by any generation in history.

According to reports by the Washington Post the average student graduates with $28,000 in student loan debt. The average is slightly higher for HBCU graduates, at $30,500, and 27 percent of blacks represent that average as opposed to 16 percent of whites.

“It’s nerve-racking,” said Jeorgie Hicks, a recent graduate of Benedict College, when asked about graduating. “It’s exciting for my family but I’m nervous because I don’t know what’s next as far as a job. I owe $60,000 in student loans and the job market for education isn’t looking too good.”

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