Morgan Stanley announced on Wednesday (October 21) that it will be paying the tuition for 60 students at three Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The move is the latest example of a large corporation publicly investing in the education of Black students in an attempt to address racial inequality.
The HBCU Scholar program will offer full cost of attendance scholarships on a need basis to students at Howard University, Morehouse College and Spelman College.
The four-year scholarship will be awarded to an inaugural class of 15 students with new scholars being added each year. Morgan Stanley has already committed $12 million for the program.
Susan Reid, the Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Morgan Stanley, described the purpose behind the program, saying, “To close the racial wealth gap, we know that Black academic achievement and academic advancement is essential. Racial inequity around access to and affordability of higher education can impact Black students’ ability to grow generational wealth.”
In May, the killing of George Floyd and subsequent protests prompted many leading businesses around the country to address racial inequality. Additionally, the long-standing tradition of academic excellence at HBCUs makes the investment like Morgan Stanley’s an opportunity to, as Reid describes, “lead the way in leveling the playing field while creating an environment for students of color to thrive.”
Executives from Morgan Stanley recently joined hundreds of other corporate leaders in releasing a report that presents joint corporate program initiatives to address systemic racism in employment, finance, health, housing and more. The report includes collaboration opportunities between corporations and HBCUs, support for Black-owned businesses, and job access for Black Americans.
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