Breaking Brown

July 11, 2013

HBCUs Planning to Sue Obama Administration Over Student Loan Practices

HBCUs Planning to Sue Obama Administration Over Student Loan Practices

Barack Obama, John Silvanus Wilson Jr.,

by Yvette Carnell

If you want to understand why Howard University, the richest of HBCUs, announced last month that it is having financial problems, then look no further than the Obama administration. When the Obama administration changed its financial aid policy and began checking the last five years of a parent’s credit history—which spans the deepest  recession in modern history—for defaults, instead of just the last 90 days, as was previously the policy, the rug was pulled out from under black schools. This policy change forced 28,000 HBCU students to drop out, and cost schools $150 million.

The Obama administration is aware of how this policy change is impacting black students, but says it can’t legally go back to the old system. Since the Obama administration has been unwilling to reverse its policy, with Education Secretary Jim Shelton saying he may review the policy next year, HBCUs are considering their options, one of which is to sue the administration.

From The New Republic:

“We’re doing everything to avoid going to the courts, but that is absolutely an option,” Johnny Taylor of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund told me. “We cannot have a rule that impacts our community as significantly as this one does.” Taylor says his organization will initiate a suit this summer if it becomes clear the DOE won’t act before August, when students have to decide whether they can go to school or not. 

As TNR points out, “HBCUs constitute three percent of America’s colleges but produce 20 percent of black graduates, 50 percent of black public school teachers and lawyers, 80 percent of black judges, and 90 percent of black BA’s in STEM fields.” 

But even with such a strong record, the Obama administration has offered a lot more talk than federal dollars to HBCUs, offering only 1.7 percent of their total grants for higher education to HBCUs, even though HBCUs comprise three percent of schools.



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53 thoughts on “HBCUs Planning to Sue Obama Administration Over Student Loan Practices

  1. DavidJones5 says:

    As of now…..Obama is a total disappointment for Black people!  At this point I’m not even sure appointing a Black to the Supreme Court will be enough to restore his image with Black people.

    1. TeriWilson says:

      DavidJones5  Don’t presume to speak for all black people. If you’re going to point fingers you need to also point to Republicans in Congress who have made it a mission to not pass any bill Obama puts before them. Changes can’t happen if bills don’t get passed.

      1. CarolinaSistah says:

        TeriWilson DavidJones5 Perhaps Republicans have opposed Obama’s policies because they are ‘bad’ policies?  Name one good policy this president has implemented in either of his terms?

        1. greeneink says:

          CarolinaSistah TeriWilson DavidJones5 Name one good policy that he has implemented that black people have worked with him on. That would be a ZERO. Even on healthcare reform …

        2. CarolinaSistah says:

          greeneink CarolinaSistah TeriWilson DavidJones5 This first black president has not met with the Congressional Black Caucus in over 2 years.  That is a black group sitting right in his face. He refused to meet with black pastors.  He has not reached out to any black group in the making of any of his policies.

        3. greeneink says:

          CarolinaSistah greeneink TeriWilson DavidJones5 After what they did, I don’t blame him. I wouldn’t meet with them either acting like that. He met with them from Day 1 and told them what to expect of him, and all they did was cut up instead of step up.
          I’m sitting here watching him go to bat for healthcare reform and Maxine “Miss Queen of LA” Waters herself was running all over the place like a cutoff head chicken crying about federal government funds to build a monument to herself in downtown LA. wtf?! was that all about, really?
          CHECK THE CBC AND YOUR STATE LEVEL REPS. I’ll bet you’ll find out WHY (the real reason) he won’t meet with their sniveling behinds.
          That was like Boehner running all over the place screaming President Obama REFUSED TO WORK WITH THE REPUBLICANS just for us to find out that he asked them not to smoke during meetings because he was trying to quit and that cockroach lit up a cigarette and blew the smoke in his face.
          Disrespectful as hayell. And he told us, they aren’t the only ones who have disrespected him since he’s been in office. He’s not your next door neighbor and brotha round the way, he’s the freakin’ President and he’s doing HIS job.
          What about YOU? besides griping?
          I’m almost starting to believe what white folks say about us not being satisfied no matter what breaks we get in this lifetime.

        4. greeneink says:

          CarolinaSistah greeneink TeriWilson DavidJones5 BTW, meet with “black pastors”? 
          Which ones has he not met with … the one who got thrown in jail last week for molesting a teenage girl, the one who got caught messing around with the boys behind his wife’s back, the one who is about to go to jail for embezzling church funds, or the one who told everyone he “wants what P Diddy and JayZ has”?
          That black pastor who said he wanted to cut Obama’s ^ut$ off right after he was elected and was just getting settled down, or the black pastor named TD Jakes who complained about the “Hollywood Spirit” that he himself brought into his own church?

          Or maybe it’s the one who almost cost him the election after Pres Obama said he can’t turn his back on his spiritual advisor and then he bust out the next day and told the whole world what Pres Obama said to him, thus leaving him no choice BUT to break off his relationship with him.

          Or was that the “black pastors” who just want to meet him and take a picture and go back and tell everyone they “met with” the President?
          Because we are STILL WAITING ON THAT BLACK AGENDA nobody has come up with yet. When they get one, I’m sure he’ll be glad to talk to them about it because I’m about sick of going around in circles with this mess and nothing getting done myself and I’m not even sitting where he is right now.

          If I’m tired of going around in these same circles with black folks talking and never doing, I can only IMAGINE what he must be going through.
          Even LULAC and the gay rights people and the dog rights people and the military rights people and the immigrant rights people go to him with a Plan and their group leaders and lobbyists who go through their state congressmen like they are supposed to, or follow protocol and take a number like everyone else has to. We don’t have direct access to him every time we scream for his attention just because he’s black. Those folks have unified fronts and go through the lines and channels of communication that they are supposed to. In the meantime …
          The NAACP, for some strange reason, has its OWN members suing them (for what “this” time?).
          If we can’t get us to stop suing each other over dumb crap long enough to get some isht done, then I wouldn’t think I’d have time to meet with them either.

        5. chamberslee says:

          greeneink CarolinaSistah TeriWilson DavidJones5 
          He insulted the Black Caucus telling them to take off their wave caps and bedroom shoes, pull up your pants and help him out (paraphrasing). Why would he say that to an educated, professional group of black people? Of course they were upset. Do you think they should have thanked Obama for the uncalled for admonishment? Some black people excuse Obama for anything.

      2. DavidJones5 says:

        @TeriWilson….are you saying Obama must go through Congress to create laws?  Hun….change your glasses, wake up and stop drinking  the Obama Punch Kool Aid….

        1. greeneink says:

          DavidJones5 OBAMA has to. Bush did not need to. Different skin color, different treatment. Always.

        2. CarolinaSistah says:

          DavidJones5 The Executive Branch of government has no power to create laws — only to uphold and defend the laws passed by Congress.

        3. DavidJones5 says:

          CarolinaSistah & TeriWilson
          NOT TRUE…..the POTUS can issue what is called an Executive Order to create laws.
          Executive Orders allow the President to make major decisions, even law, without the consent of Congress. Executive Orders have been used by every President since the time of George Washington. President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation by Executive Order. 
          Many important policy changes have occurred through Executive Orders. Harry Truman integrated the armed forces under Executive Order. President Eisenhower used an EO to desegregate schools. Presidents Kennedy and Johnson used them to bar racial discrimination in federal housing, hiring, and contracting. 
          So please stop with the misinformation about Obama not being able to create laws arbitrarily without approval from Congress to address the needs of black people.

      3. voiceoftruthusa says:

        TeriWilson DavidJones5 Republicans and Democrats may act like they are divided in the eyes of the public, but behind closed doors they are on the same team. This particular issue is bigger than both parties, which are nothing but a shell game anyway to fool the public. The real reason the Obama administration had to reverse course on student loans is because the banks want more profitable loans so that they can carry out their international agenda. Obama had no choice, especially since his top financial cabinet members are deep in bed with these same bankers.

    2. greeneink says:

      DavidJones5 I’m black and No he’s not a total disappointment for Black people, only for YOU. Don’t start acting like a Republican and presume to speak for all black people. That’s YOU, not all of us.

      1. DavidJones5 says:

        greeneink DavidJones5 I apologize….I should have been more specific….Obama isn’t a disappointment to Sambo ass black people.

  2. Duonoir says:

    @David Jones, you are absolutely right.  The Obama administration has done nothing for the Black community.  Gays got what they wanted, Hispanics will get what they want, and we get the shaft.  @TeriWilson, there were more Blacks in high positions under Bush than there are under Obama.  And don’t  blame the Republicans for this one.  This is an implementation change initiated and implemented solely and wholly by the Obama Administration.  The Republicans have nothing to do with it.  
    But if you want to blame someone blame the Democrats, during most of Obama’s initial term, the Democrats ruled both the House and the Senate.  They had enough votes to change the national language to Italian if they wanted, did they do anything constructive…heck NO.  
    So if you know someone who won’t be able to go to college this fall, blame Obama and no one else.

  3. RobWimberly says:

    Why harp on President Obama’s policies? So you can tear them down? Don’t want to waste my time. All policies aren’t bad, nor are they good. The President is not a total disappointment for ALL Black people. Blame is not productive, you can’t get him out and he isn’t running again.
     We have ALWAYS been disappointed in politics. The most recent time we “felt” ok about it was when the economy was better in the 90’s. Since the economic policies that bring jobs are being BLOCKED (by Republicans), we are left to struggle with double the unemployment of others, focus on death in the large urban areas, and THESE mundane conversations about “policies.” This is a money issue. Now there is one place I take odds with this administration about, Why are we not prosecuting and regulating (with TEETH) our financial industry? We are the richest country and yet our laws are built to destroy the innocent…

    1. DavidJones5 says:

      RobWimberly …if he is not a disappointment…then tell us what has he done specifically for to address the needs of black people like he did gays and Latinos?

    2. chamberslee says:

      Again, too many black people think Obama is supposed to crack jokes, smile and look cool–not propose a specific agenda for blacks and work to carry it out. We are happy with symbolism over substance and action. what a shame. Other groups are benefiting and we are falling further behind.

  4. E Ray says:

    Sue!!! Gimme a break. We fall into talking sooo doggone simplistic and ignorant sometimes when it aint that. It’s never been Obama anything. It’s a cat who the people’s hopes were placed naively upon who’s only a figurehead of a whole tandem, hoodwink, backdoor play running, dual party system. Like it was pointed out in the 2010 film “Ghetto Physics,” everybody is gettin prostituted around here! It’s Real Pimps n Hos baby workin this game from top to bottom. Sue!!!
    Negroes is rollin over late in the fourth quarter to the reality of what has been taking place after wearing their hearts on their sleeve when they got a photo op of a beautiful black family in the White House finally to hang in their living room and salve they wounds. Hell, the game was pasted behind the photo you obtained. That’s how cold this is. You think these pimps are here to play? Yeah, YA THINK??? You better resurrect Cochran’s ghost and have him stand over a team to sue each administration from here forth and show you mean business. They KNEW THAT WAS GONNA HAPPEN TO US WHEN THEY SHIFTED THE POLICY!!! Talkin bout “Why we gonna harp?” You better get to harpin like Cupid who just woke up out of stuck on stupid!
    Let me step down off my little box ‘for I fall off damnit! Power to the people. I’m out. lol

  5. greeneink says:

    The Obama Administration didn’t loan them any money or tell them or borrow any.
    They need to be suing the proper entities like the Department of Education and SALLIE MAE and the NDSL folks who helped back these corporate profit loans at usurious interest rates that they just JACKED UP AGAIN. 
    They will never prevail with these matters because they don’t sue the right people in the first place, and in the second place, Elizabeth Warren is already after the proper officials for this matter as well as many others involving theft by corporate entities and the hijacking of student loan interest rates and indebting students for life.
    They need to get with her, Elizabeth Warren, and sue the right people for the right reasons …

    1. greeneink Great Comment !
      I will definetely look into Elizabeth Warren and get a greater understanding of who she is. I truly believe we need a reform in the old mindsets that continue to hinder the progress forward of the HBCU’s.

    2. chamberslee says:

      If they sue, it will be the Department of Education, also, which operations at the behest of the Obama Administration. The Obama Administration are the right people. The Obama Administration is made up of corporate interests. Google his administration and review their backgrounds and previous professions and employers.

  6. We must do for self and I believe the place to start with is in Education. But, if the Nation at large continues to see us beg for bread from the government it will continue to discredit our political clout on a global scale. HBCU’s need an Awakening moment because they don’t recognize the power they have ! Countries are building strategies against our impending resurgence.

    1. greeneink says:

      HBCUEnlightened I was young and yet now I am old and I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor the Lord’s seed begging bread at the Gates of their enemies.!mru-dplan/cuyl.
      GOT WORK TO DO!!!

  7. hotep2you says:

    Wouldn’t the resources needed to sue- be better utilized in fund raising initiatives, reaching out to esteemed HBCU Alumni/Alumnae asking them to reach back, and pay it forward. How about workshops,and webinars designed to prepare and educate prospective students (as early as elementary school)and their parents on all that is necessary for college entrance, and financing. #GodBlesstheChildthatsGotHis/HerOwn!

    1. greeneink says:

      hotep2you DO TELL! Hotep, that’s what I’m talking about. We are acting like Republicans do … spending money on advertising to oppose Obama instead of SPENDING MONEY TO GET THE WORK DONE THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE. You got the RIGHT IDEA and AMEN!!!
      They spend millions on ads opposing Obamacare, and ZIP on actual healthcare.
      In the meantime, black folk better get to DC and help President Obama with this healthcare mess … black folks are DYING while Black folk are busy arguing over how BLACK Obama really is… whodahayellcares? We got isht to do darnit! NOW. 
      GET TO WORK!

    2. greeneink says:

      hotep2you Where da lawsuit money at? 
      I’ll show them what to do with it that changes this mess we’re in instead of sitting around griping like a bunch of Republican whiners who are mad because he got elected AT ALL. (ie JEALOUS.)

    3. chamberslee says:

      The school will fail to exist if it continues to lose money and students. The money they would spend going to court to get the Obama Administration to change its policy is vital to the future of Howard and would be well spent.

    4. kfte says:

      hotep2youYour point makes too much sense. How can anyone sue the Obama Administration?  That is the silly’s thing I have heard today. What that tells me is the person who came up with the idea is obviously not a educated person who doesn’t know how our government works. That’s like saying you could sue the Republican party because you don’t like their policies.

  8. CarolinaSistah says:

    Can anyone tell me how to get my name off this feed?

    1. greeneink says:

      CarolinaSistah Your email feed pipe has a setting at the bottom of it that says “Unsubscribe from this conversation.” Done.

  9. CarolinaSistah says:

    I agree with you.  I said in another post that black Americans need to follow the example of the homosexuals and ask for specific things with specific outcomes.  I’d include ‘with specific timeframes’.

    1. chamberslee says:

      Too many blacks say do not ask Obama for anything because he is not supposed to help us: We need to do everything ourselves. This is the problem and why blacks will not get anything from Obama.

  10. paintopower7 says:

    It’s about time our community stand up for something. I am a student who was affected by this change and started a petition but couldn’t get anybody on board to sign it last year. Now that I don’t need the help anymore there is this movement but I am glad to see that somebody is doing something now.

  11. E Ray says:

    Carolina is on point though. Our reps are the silliest rag tag bunch of clown caucus cacklers. We need to stay on them with a constant feed like this one and that would keep that ass in check. I really do mean it would be effective for a black leadership group to have to monitor a continuous public feed, possibly from some qualifying process so it aint any idiot, but definitely homeworked undiluted citizens from our group who will check all the BS that our leadership regulars constantly steer into. 
    Other than that we do make ourselves look silly every time we are suppose to step up and participate dynamically and thrust forward our demands like any other group, not just in democracy, but in the power shaping process in the world period: HUMANOCRACY damnit! Cant we show up to the game and play with some doggone sense??!! We can actually score a point or two and encourage ourselves back in this… maybe catch our own usually, institutionally impaired confusion off guard.

    1. chamberslee says:

      E Ray 
      Too many blacks say we should not expect Obama to do anything for us: We should do everything ourselves. That is one reason we do not affect change in our communities. Too many of us are satisfied with symbolism over substance.

  12. Tariq Amir says:

    Are there wealthy alums paying back? The Obama Admn. Is wrong for this! Oppresion at its finest.

    1. greeneink says:

      Tariq Amir That’s why black folk will never win a lawsuit. They never go after the correct target. Jurisdiction is everything in a court of law and the “Obama Administration” had nothing to do with those corporate entities that banded together like the thieves they are and used government as leverage to cheat people back when Bush, Clinton and Reagan were in office. Jimmy Carter was the only one who wouldn’t let them do it. 
      One of the main reasons Obama got elected was to tan and quarter their hides and hang them out for the American people to slap upside the head, and instead of standing WITH him on it while his people were working on the THE DODD-FRANK REFORM law, which impacts us too … we manage to find money somewhere to sue his “administration” over it.
      STUPID, as in STICK-ON ROLL-ON UNDERARM STUPID, not even the clear kind.

  13. NickWestbrooks says:

    Instead of saying “even with such a strong record,” Yvette should’ve written “BECAUSE of such a strong record…” “They” don’t want to see us doing well. Anyway, I want to remind people of Dr. Jahi Issa’s report “The Ethnic Cleansing of HBCUs” which you can read here or you can find it on YouTube. It’s very possible that these student loan practices are a part of the cleansing process.
    Dr. Issa goes even further by warning that we may see an eventual end to higher education for African students not only in HBCUs but in general with the possible end of Affirmative Action (even though Af. Act. supposedly benefits White women the most). I don’t know if he published anything on that topic, but I attended his lecture at Howard last October called “The End of African-Americans in Higher Education.” So, we can’t forget about the cleansing factor.
    Also, doesn’t it take years to sue? Especially the Obama administration…He’ll be done with his term before this even hits the court lol. So, what are we going to do in the meantime?

  14. I’m sitting here reading all of these negative comments and the Obama bashing and it’s rather disappointing because most of it is coming from the fact that the President hasn’t been the “Moses” some of us were hoping for and expecting (which was stupid in the first place).

    1. chamberslee says:

      James Alexander 
      Gays, immigrants and other groups demand Obama acknowledge their concerns or the party will not continue to receive their votes. Consequently, Obama is working for them. Those groups understand politics and how the game is played. Too many blacks, on the other hand, do not understand politics. 
      No one expects Obama to be Moses; they expect him to keep his word. The problem is that he knows he does not have to do anything for blacks and they will continue to support him. That is the problem: Too many blacks are fine with symbolism.

      1. chamberslee James Alexander , What has the President done for the Gay’s and Latioo’s? The last time I checked thre are African-American Gay’s.  What word(s) hasn’t he kept?  Please be specific.  I’ve heard people say the same thing you’re saying but I’ve yet to get an answer that makes any kind of sense, common or otherwise.  What is it exactly that Blacks want from Obama?  This sounds more like a child acting up to get a little attention from a parent/  More specifically, what does Chamberlee want?  What do you as an iindividual want for your vote?  It appears that everybody wanting something want’s it for somebody else and the somebody they’re wanting it for don’t really give a damn because they have what they’re willing to work for or what the Government is alreadyu giving them.

        1. chamberslee says:

          James Alexander chamberslee 
          Blacks want job creation in urban environments and an opportunity to participate in urban renewal projects instead of being pushed out and dislocated to other poor areas of the city. Blacks want a livable wage, an end to the so-called war on drugs that arbitrarily target poor blacks (when the black population uses drugs less than all racial and ethnic groups, except Asians), and blacks want an end to criminal justice policies that feed the private corrections corporations’ bottom line. 
          Of course Obama cannot address all of these issues, but he can consider where he would have the most success, make a proposal for change and work as hard for blacks as he does for other groups, which brings me to your other point: trickle-down policy (my use).
          You are correct, there are black gays and black immigrants who will benefit from these policies, and think it is wonderful to see the country moving closer to equality and equity for the aforementioned groups. But those are not policies aimed at improving black communities. In fact, many blacks do not support either of those groups’ efforts to be more included in American society.  It is what I call trickle-down policy, an outlier. Yes, a black gay couple, for example, will have the right to marry but they may not be able to find jobs in their community or they could get caught up in mass incarceration because they live in a high targeted area. 
          Peripheral politics does not address the unique issues in black communities that were caused, primarily, by oppressive, racist policies that have reached into the Twenty-first century. 
          James, I believe we are both concerned about the black community and are trying to get to the same destination but have different views of how to get there. If we were sitting in the same room and got know each other, we could find that compromise and put something into action.  I respect your passion on this issue, although I do not agree which the approach.

  15. kfte says:

    If we could get the death beat families and student to pay back their student loans and other bills ( student accounts) owed to our HBCU’s then our schools wouldn’t be in the financial straps that they find themselves in today. What company in their right mind would extend credit to people that have demonstrated they don’t care about their credit? Our colleges need the graduates to give back and if your are college drop out you need to PAY YOUR BILLS!! Don’t blame President for your poor credit score. Respect our HBCU’s, pay them the money you owe them.

  16. ShawnMc1 says:

    damn if they are producing that many professionals why aren’t any of these graduates donating ?

  17. Student loans have become one the biggest debt problems in
    our nation. Each day this problem grows and become more difficult to solve.
    People are continuously taking payday loans and similar to satisfy their debt
    repayment plans. The student loan delinquency is a serious issue that needs to
    be sorted out as soon as possible.

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