Billionaire Robert F. Smith is making good on his promise to wipe out student loan debt for Morehouse’s 2019 graduating class — and he has now included something for their parents too.
At the graduation ceremony in May, Smith surprised the class of 2019 by telling them they wouldn't have to pay back a dime in student loans, because he was going to foot the bill.
The tab for the nearly 400 graduates came to $34 million. Smith will also pay off the student loans their parents took out.
“It is our hope that our graduates will use their newfound financial freedom to pursue their career goals, to lead and serve the community, and to remember the spirit of the gift given to them by paying it forward to support the education of future classes of Morehouse Men,” Morehouse President David Thomas said in a press release.
The money will come through their new Morehouse Student Success Program, an initiative that plans to lower or eliminate student loan debt for the historically black college’s students and parents.
Six types of loans will be repaid: federal subsidized loans, federal unsubsidized loans, Georgia Student Access Loans, Perkins Loans, Parent Plus Loans, and certain private student loans processed through Morehouse College.
Morehouse said it will continue to follow the participants of that program, as well as research what kind of impact graduating debt-free will have on the lives of students and parents.