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Arne Duncan Praises President Swinton and President French for their Leadership of National Committee

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September 28, 2014


Arne Duncan Praises President Swinton and President French for their

Leadership of National Committee

Fairfield, AL- During the 2014 National HBCU Week Conference last week, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan thanked Dr. George T. French, Jr., President of Miles College along with David Swinton, President of Benedict College for their service and contributions on the negotiated rulemaking committee.

 There had been looming concerns regarding PLUS loans and the efforts to tighten the underwriting criteria which had already cut off college access for low-income and underserved students.

To that end, a Negotiating Rulemaking Committee was established by The Education Department to hammer out new rules to address a range of regulations for institutions that receive federal student aid and the companies that handle the disbursement of that money.

 Since then, a negotiated rulemaking committee was convened and benefitted greatly from the thoughtful guidance of Dr. David Swinton, the president of Benedict College, and Dr. George French, the president of Miles College,” said Secretary Duncan.

“Now, with an overwhelming number of positive public comments on the draft rule, we are on track to publish a final rule by November 1 so students benefit from these changes in time for the next semester. We would never have gotten to this spot without the leadership, wisdom, and hard work of Dr. Swinton and Dr. French—so thank you!”

Historically black colleges were established during an era when African Americans lacked the option to attend college or even the opportunity to receive an education. Today the overwhelming challenge is more so how does one finance an education for those individuals who desire to attend college.

Currently, only 21 % of African American adults in the United States have a college education.  The average house hold income for African Americans in the United States is $40,000 annually. While funding college brings on a plethora of challenges, the lack of ability to acquire loans to assist with this endeavor only worsens this problem.

The work done through the Negotiating Rulemaking Committee, under the leadership of President Swinton and President French, speaks to this national issue and will impact higher education significantly for years to come.  

Media Contact: Alicia Johnson-Williams, (205) 515-7781, E-mail:  ajohnson@miles.edu

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