October 21, 2022

Congresswomen Bush, Adams Request HBCUs Receive Targeted Outreach for Biden’s Student Debt Relief Program

Black college grads owe an average of $25K more in student debt than white college grads


Washington, D.C. (Oct. 21, 2022)—Congresswomen Cori Bush (MO-01) and Alma Adams (NC-12) sent a letter to Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona requesting that Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) receive targeted outreach about the student debt relief program, the application process, and what borrowers can expect once payments resume. The nearly 100 HBCUs in the United States and Virgin Islands represent a concentrated number of Black borrowers who are eligible for full or partial debt relief through the Pell Grant program. Targeted outreach to these institutions will ensure HBCU students and graduates are actively engaging with the student debt relief program and receiving the benefits to which they are entitled. 


“HBCU students have higher debt burdens than other students—despite 62 percent of all undergraduates at HBCUs receiving a Pell Grant in 2020. With such a significant portion of HBCU students and graduates deemed eligible for full or partial student debt cancellation, we urge the Department of Education to consider conducting targeted outreach efforts to the HBCU community, including financial aid offices, administrators, enrolled students, graduates, parents, transfer students, and students who did not complete their degree,” wrote the lawmakers. “Bolstering effective communication to HBCUs about the application process, eligibility for the program, and what borrowers can expect once payments resume is key to ensuring racial equity is at the forefront of the Administration’s approach to student debt cancellation.”


A copy of this letter can be found HERE.


Additional co-signers of this letter include Representatives Karen Bass (CA-37), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Troy Carter (LA-02), Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05), Dwight Evans (PA-03),  Jesús García (IL-04), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Henry “Hank” Johnson (GA-04), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Al Lawson (FL-05), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Lucy McBath (GA-06), A. Donald McEachin (VA-04), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Eleanor Norton (DC-00), Donald Payne (NJ-10), Mark Takano (CA-41), Bennie Thompson (MS-02), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Nydia Velázquez (NY-07), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23); Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Nikema Williams (GA-05), and Frederica Wilson (FL-24).


This letter is also endorsed by: Student Borrower Protection Center, Student Debt Crisis Center, National Consumer Law Center, Missouri National Education Association, and MoveOn.


Earlier this week, Congresswoman Bush sent a letter to Executive Director 0f Higher Education Loan Authority of the State of Missouri (MOHELA) demanding the company halt efforts to block millions of people from accessing economic relief through the Biden Administration’s historic student loan debt relief program. 




Congresswoman Cori Bush sits on the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, serves as the Progressive Caucus Deputy Whip, and proudly represents St. Louis as a politivist in the halls of the United States Congress.