Georgetown University students in Washington DC voted in favor of a repair fund to repurchase descendents of slaves sold by the school in 1
Undergraduate students passed the referendum with a 66% majority, but the measure requires approval by the university.
Georgetown is the first major college to pass such a repair fund.
The student-led referendum was organized by the group Students for the GU272. The counting of commissioners reported that nearly 60% of students turned out to vote on Thursday.
The amount was chosen to remember the 272 people sold, but also so that it would not be too large or increase in tuition, a student involved with the group customs the New York Times.
If approved by the university, the fund will go towards charitable purposes, benefiting the descendents of those slaves, many of whom now live in Louisiana and Maryland.  Critics of the fund say it is an arbitrary amount that will not address any real issues, or that it should be the burden of the institution, not the students, to repay descendents of slaves. Some students have said it is an unjust moral imposition on students to make the fee mandatory.
Todd Olson, vice president of student affairs at the university, said in a statement: "We value the engagement of our students and appreciate that they are making their voices heard and contributing to an important national conversation. "
In 1838 the Jesuit university sells the slaves to plantations in Louisiana to pay off, in a deal worth the equivalent of $ 3.3m.
Georgetown has been making amends for its past connection to slavery since 2015, Mr Olson noted.
In 2017, the institution formally apologized for selling the 272 slaves, and renamed a campus building after Isaac Hawkins – the first one listed in the 1838 sale.
The historic vote among Georgetown's student body comes as 2020 Democratic presidential
Senator Cory of New Jersey on Tuesday filed a bill to create a commission for studying repair proposals. Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California also have expressed support of some child or repairs.