Wilberforce University forgives 2021 graduate student loan debt
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At the Wilberforce University graduation ceremony, the graduates received a major surprise from the president of the university, Dr. Elfred Anthony Pinkard. During his speech, he announced that more than $ 375,000 in student loans would be given to graduates.
“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,” Dr. Pinkard said in a press release.
However, this does not erase the total debt of each student. Debt that has been written off does not include federal and state student loans.
According to the Federal Reserve, there is $ 1.7 trillion in student loan debt in the United States. Research has shown that black graduate students owed more money than white students. According to the National Center for Education Statistics:
Black college graduates have an average of $ 52,000 in student debt and owe an average of $ 25,000 more than white college graduates. Four years after graduation, nearly half of black borrowers owe 12.5% more than they borrowed because of interest, while 83% of white borrowers owe 12% less than what they borrow. that they borrowed. And more than half of black students say their student loan debt exceeds their net worth.
Andre Perry, a senior researcher at the Brookings Institution, said student loan debt affected the racial wealth gap.
“When you have more student loans, you have less purchasing power,” Perry told Inside Higher Ed. “You have lower credit scores. It is a barrier to home ownership. If we are serious about helping close the racial wealth gap, we would include a provision for the cancellation of student loans. “
President Joe Biden has been pressured to write off $ 50,000 in federal student loan debt, but he says he has no authority to respond to such a request.
“The cancellation of $ 50,000 in student loan debt is a matter of racial justice. It is a question of economic justice. It’s a matter of generational justice, ”Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said at a press conference in April.