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Renovating the Past, Constructing the Future: HBCU Capital Financing Improvement Act H.R. 5530

The HBCU Capital Financing Improvement Act (H.R. 5530), introduced by Reps. Alma Adams (D-NC) and Bradley Byrne (R-AL), is intended to increase access to capital by Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by making changes to the HBCU Capital Financing Program which provides low-cost capital to finance improvements to campus infrastructure at HBCUs. Acting as a loan guarantee program to finance repairs, renovations, and construction of critical campus buildings, the program receives contributions from 40 HBCUs and typically offers loans ranging between $10 million and $20 million.

H.R. 5530 is intended to improve the program by:

  • Requiring the program’s Advisory Board to submit an annual report to Congress, providing an overview of all loans in the program, along with administrative and legislative recommendations for additional program improvements.

  • Increase access to the program by reclassifying the escrow account as a bond insurance fund so that more institutions can participate.

  • Authorizing the Department of Education to provide counseling to HBCUs in the preparation to qualify for, apply for, and maintain a capital improvement loan.

H.R. 5530 is cosponsored by Reps. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX), John Kline (R-MN), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Phil Roe (R-TN), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Glenn Thompson (R-PA), and Frederica Wilson (D-FL).

H.R. 5530 is supported by the American Council on Education, the National Association of College & University Business Officers, the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities, the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, the National Association of Independent Colleges & Universities, the National Education Association, the American Association of State Colleges & Universities, the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars & Admissions Officers, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, the Association of American Universities, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities & Colleges, and the Council for Opportunity in Education.

This is the fourth installment in a series examining five bipartisan bills advanced by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on June 22, 2016 and approved by the full House of Representatives on July 11, 2016. While unlikely to be taken up by the Senate, the bills will help to frame the discussion for reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) in the upcoming 115th Congress.

The original post briefly summarizing all five bills was posted  on June 24, 2016.

Part 1-House Committee Advances Higher Education Bills

Part 2-Fear No FAFSA: H.R. 5528 -Simplifying the Application for Student Aid Act

Part 3 - Expanding Access and Encouraging Health Care: H.R. 5529

Part 5 - Choice is Knowledge: H.R. 3178

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About this Author

R. Neal Martin, Government Relations, Mintz Levin, Law firm
Senior Manager of Government Relations

With more than 10 years experience in government and government relations, Neal focuses on issues related to transportation and infrastructure, clean energy, trade, and federal appropriations. Working with a client portfolio made up of non-profits, clean energy start-ups, and large companies, Neal’s efforts have focused on increasing client visibility and influence with decision makers at the congressional and federal agency level, and providing strategic advice on public policy and federal funding opportunities. 

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