Does Bernie Sanders’ free college plan imperil black colleges?

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Does Bernie Sanders’ free college plan imperil black colleges?

A prominent southern congressman made a comment last week about Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ proposal to provide free public college educations to students. Rep. James Clyburn, D-SC, said Sen. Bernie Sanders’ tuition-free college proposal would harm historically black colleges and universities.

“[If] you start handing out two years of free college at public institutions, are you ready for all the black, private HBCUs to close down? That’s what’s going to happen,” Clyburn said in an interview. “Think about the consequences of things.”

But three academics who study the role and history of HBCUs said the claim is unfounded. In fact, they contend, “Bernie Sanders would establish higher education as a ‘right,’ and bring us back to an era when public colleges and universities were free or virtually free — only this time blacks will be included.”

To read more about Sanders’ proposal and its impact on the college options and outcomes for African-American students, go to the AJC Get Schooled blog on MyAJC.com.

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