Officials developing a federal bond insurance plan for historically black colleges and universities made progress this week, but a major sticking point involving default protection remains unresolved.

At a meeting in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Department of Education officials and an advisory board to Education Secretary Richard W. Riley agreed on several changes, including credit criteria that will be used to determine eligibility for the program's guarantee. However, the participants were unable to find common ground on the structure of an escrow account that would serve as a debt service fund in the event of a default.

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