Campus Reform | Biden-Harris platform includes 'free' tuition for public colleges...and private historically Black colleges

Biden-Harris platform includes 'free' tuition for public colleges...and private historically Black colleges

Harris promised to make tuition free for low-income students at private HBCUs, invest $70 billion in HBCUs, as well as forgive student loans for some HBCU graduates.

Kamala Harris met with leaders at Florida Memorial University to discuss the Black community.

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During a recent roundtable discussion at Florida Memorial University, Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris vowed to make tuition free at private historically Black colleges and universities. 

“Joe and I have talked extensively about what we need to do, therefore, to support our HBCUs as part of just the treasure of our nation,” Harris said.

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She then mentioned how they plan to invest $70 billion in HBCUs and forgive student-loans for some HBCU graduates.

“In relation to the history of HBCUs, [students] decide to take on a profession of service, which often does not pay as well as if they go into the private sector and do other things,” Harris said. “So for those students who come out and have jobs that pay less than $125,000, student-loan debt will also be forgiven.”

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The remarks came in response to comments from Florida Memorial University President Jaffus Hardrick who mentioned that 90 percent of students at that historically Black private university are low income.

Harris’s pitch to the Black community took place in the swing state of Florida, which President Donald Trump won by just over a percentage point in 2016. According to the RealClearPolitics polling average, President Donald Trump is currently trailing Joe Biden by just over one percentage point in the state.

Biden’s plan for higher education previously announced making public college tuition-free for families with income below $125,000 as well as making two years of community college tuition-free. 

According to a recent analysis by the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Finance, Biden and Harris' policy platform would collect an additional $3.3 trillion in new taxes while increasing spending by $5.3 trillion, meaning that their policies would result in a budget deficit of about $2 trillion. According to the analysis, "the largest areas of new net spending are education at $1.9 trillion over ten years and infrastructure and R&D at $1.6 trillion over ten years.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @JezzamineWolk