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Study Examines How Colleges Borrow During Times of Crisis

September 1, 2022

How colleges use debt during times of crisis varies greatly depending on institutional characteristics, according to a new report from Ithaka S+R funded by the TIAA Institute.

The study, released Wednesday, found that while historically Black colleges and universities tend to borrow less than non-HBCUs—a pattern that has remained relatively constant—HBCUs “became significantly more leveraged than non-HBCUs” after the Great Recession of 2008. One explanation for this was that HBCUs borrowed to weather financial hardships, rather than for capital projects such as campus residence halls.

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