Livingstone College

Livingstone College responds to report on HBCUs’ federal loans

A Charlotte TV news station reported on July 18 that in the last 10 years, HBCUs, including Livingstone College, Johnson C. Smith in Charlotte and Barber Scotia in Concord, borrowed $1.7 billion from the federal government to pay for campus upgrades, according to a Wall Street Journal article, adding that most of that money hasn’t been paid back. The following is Livingstone’s response to that report, which necessitated clarification.

Livingstone College’s statement:
“Over the past 16 years (2001-2017), Livingstone College’s cumulative debt to the U.S. Department of Education was $61 million. However, the college reduced its debt to approximately $22 million by 2016.
In 2015, the college refinanced and consolidated its existing debt with an additional $15 million loan to build two new structures: the F. George Shipman Science Annex Building and a new physical education building.
At current, our balance is $38 million with a lower interest rate and a monthly payment that is lower than what was being paid before consolidation; and we are current on all of our payments.
What’s important to note is that Livingstone College has not experienced a significant drop in enrollment in the past five years. In fact, the 2014 freshman class was the largest in the school’s history.
Let me also add that the new science annex, expected to be completed in 2018, will further enrich Livingstone’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initiative and strengthen the college’s research infrastructure. These types of investments aid in student recruitment and thusly increases enrollment.” – Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., President of Livingstone College.

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