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Wilberforce University Cancels Over $375,000 Worth of Student Debt for 2020 and 2021 Graduates

Wilberforce University Cancels Over $375,000 Worth of Student Debt for 2020 and 2021 Graduates

Won’t He do it!

Wilberforce University canceled more than $375,000 worth of student debt for 2020 and 2021 graduates, CNN reports. 

President Elfred Anthony Pinkard made the announcement during commencement this past weekend, informing students that the historically Black university would be canceling debt for those graduates who were members of the class of 2020 and 2021. 

“As these graduates begin their lives as responsible adults, we are honored to be able to give them a fresh start by relieving their student debt to the university,” Pinkard said.

Students were elated, cheering and dancing around in joy. One student, Rodman Allen, said he plans to use the extra money to make some investments. 

“I couldn’t believe it when he said it. It’s a blessing. I can use that money and invest it into my future,” Allen said. 

A pair of twin graduates, Taylor and Tyler Thompson also spoke about the significance of the debt cancellation. Tyler has plans to apply to the police academy with Taylor focusing on getting her real estate license and becoming an entrepreneur. 

“It was very heartwarming because now we can actually, like clear our minds and actually focus,” said Tyler.

“It makes me want to do more actually, now that I know I don’t have to worry about it,” Taylor said.

The debt cancellation doesn’t include federal, bank, or any personal loans taken out by students. It only covers fines, fees, and/or tuition balances owed that were being paid directly to the school by parents or students. The $375,000 plus debt cancellation will be covered in full by scholarships from the United Negro College Fund, Inc., Jack and Jill, Inc. and other funding sources. 

Wilberforce is no stranger to good deeds, providing financial aid during the coronavirus pandemic to students whose balance was preventing them from registering for fall classes. The university was able to pull resources from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund made possible through the CARES Act. 

Student debt remains an issue for graduating students, particularly Black students. In 2019, billionaire Robert Smith covered the student loan debt for the entire graduating class of Morehouse and extended the debt cancellation to their parents, a gift totaling about $40 million. Wilberforce is now setting the tone for school’s to step in and also contribute to lessening student debt by any means necessary.

Thank you Wilberforce University! Because of you, we can!

Photo Courtesy of NBC4 WCMH-TV