Anonymous Donor Pays Off Entire Student Debt for HBCU Graduating Class

Wiley College
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The Wiley College Class of 2022 was elated to make it to graduation, but the day was made extra special by a surprise announcement: Their debt was wiped clean.

More than 100 students were in attendance at the college’s 133rd commencement convocation on May 7 and were completely stunned when president & CEO Herman J. Felton, Jr. took to the stage and proclaimed: “You are debt-free. You do not owe the college a penny. If you have a balance, you had a balance. You no longer have a balance.”

The moment was made possible thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor. While the amount was not disclosed, a press release from the college estimates the total balance for the class was $300,000. The elimination of debt gives each graduate the opportunity to start a successful career without the looming pressure of student loan repayments.

While the college works hard to keep tuition, room and board and other fees manageable, amassing debut is often synonymous with higher education. And like every other industry, the pandemic set many students and schools back when it came to paying bills. Now, that’s no longer an issue.

Felton, Jr. shares, “Our commitment to our students goes beyond their time while they are enrolled. We are constantly communicating with donors to assist students in these ways so that they can begin their after-college experience with less debt. We are grateful for this anonymous donor who will assist the students in paying off their balances to Wiley College and help us achieve institutional goals of graduating our students with little to no debt.”

Students at Morehouse College were also the recipients of a donation that wiped out their debt back in 2019. Robert F. Smith donated $34 million to the 400-person graduation class, who still share stories of how much the act of kindness meant to them.

Congrats, grads!


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