The budget bill enacted last week included a provision clearing more than $330 million owed by four historically black colleges for loans they took out from the U.S. Education Department to help with recovery from Hurricane Katrina, The New Orleans Advocate reported. The institutions include three historically black Louisiana institutions -- Dillard University, Southern University at New Orleans and Xavier University -- as well as Tougaloo College in Mississippi. The debts posed severe problems to the colleges, which are not wealthy and do not serve wealthy students. Congress granted the colleges a five-year break on repaying the loans in 2013, but that was about to expire. Historically black colleges were among the institutions most severely damaged by the post-Katrina floods.
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