Wilberforce University Cancels $375,000 Debt For Graduating Students

Students at Wilberforce University received a massive surprise at their spring graduation. During the ceremony, Wilberforce University President Elfred Anthony Pickard announced that the university would be wiping out $375,000 worth of student debt for the graduating class.

“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 told the crowd of graduating students.

The $375,000 gift was put together by a number of organizations including the United Negro College Fund, Inc. and Jack and Jill, Inc. Working together, the debt that these new graduates owe the university has been cleared. Unfortunately, it does not clear the debt that students owe to the federal government or private entities.

“I couldn’t believe it when he said it. It’s a blessing. I know God will be with me. I’m not worried. I can use that money and invest it into my future," Wilberforce University graduate Rodman Allen said.

Wilberforce University is the second historically Black university to clear a significant amount of student debt at graduation. Delaware State University recently cleared $700,000 debt for graduating students. The action will assist more than 200 students at the HBCU.

“Our students don’t just come here for a quality college experience. Most are trying to change the economic trajectory of their lives for themselves, their families, and their communities,” Delaware State University President Tony Allen said.

“Our responsibility is to do everything we can to put them on the path.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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