Oct 22, 2019

Princeton Seminary to pay $27 million in reparations

Someone giving a practice sermon at the Princeton Theological Seminary. Photo: Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

Princeton Theological Seminary will pay $27.6 millions in reparations as an act of "repentance" after acknowledging the school historically benefited from America's slave economy, the university announced in its campus magazine.

Why it matters: The decision adds to a trend of America's oldest educational institutions admitting ties to slavery and approving reparation payments for the descendants of enslaved Africans.

Background: The Seminary clarified that it neither owned slaves, nor used slave labor to construct its campus, per a historical audit. However, it invested in Southern banks and its donors benefited from slavery. Founding faculty members also used slave labor and supporting sending free black men and women to Liberia.

Along with the Princeton Seminary, Georgetown University and the Virginia Theological Seminary have moved to pay reparations as well.

Why now: Princeton Seminary's approval of a multi-year action plan comes after a report was published in Oct. 2018 that served as a "confession," according to John White, the Seminary's dean of students and vice president of student relations.

What's next: The plan will roll out immediately. Efforts include:

  • 30 new scholarships and the addition of five doctoral fellowships for students who descended from enslaved African people.
  • Hiring a director for the Center for Black Church Studies.
  • Renaming the library for Theodore Sedgwick Wright, the first African American to attend Princeton Seminary.

"To sustain this programming in perpetuity, $27.6 million will be reserved in the endowment," according to a Seminary news release.

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International college student enrollment falls for third consecutive year

George Washington University students. Photo: Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A new Institute of International Education report shows that the number of international students newly enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities fell by 1% last academic year, per AP.

Why it matters: The drop marks the third consecutive year that enrollment for international students dipped, following 7% and 3% decreases in the two previous years, which were the first downturns in more than a decade.

Go deeperArrowNov 18, 2019

Pell Grant loses its punch against the rising cost of college

Adapted from Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; Chart: Axios Visuals

Pell Grants are intended to give low-income students a shot at a college education, but the funds that students receive only cover a fraction of rising present-day college tuitions and fees.

The big picture: The federal subsidies are administered by the Department of Education, originally created by the Higher Education Act of 1965. In 1975, the largest Pell Grant award offset 79% of the average cost of attendance to a four-year public university. That coverage shrank to 29% of tuition in 2017, data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows.

Go deeperArrowNov 2, 2019

Kamala Harris introduces bill to keep schools open later each day

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris speaks during a Nov. 1 event in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) introduced a bill Tuesday that would encourage schools to keep schools open three hours longer on weekdays to fit better with parents' work schedules.

"My bill provides an innovative solution that will help reduce the burden of child care on working families. It is time we modernize the school schedule to better meet the needs of our students and their families."
— Harris' statement on the Family Friendly Schools bill
Go deeperArrowNov 7, 2019