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Graduating students left stunned as billionaire pledges to pay off ALL of their student loan debt during speech

Graduating students left stunned as billionaire pledges to pay off ALL of their student loan debt during speech
Billionaire philanthropist Robert F. Smith pledged to pay off all of the student loan debt for every member of Morehouse College's 2019 graduating class during his commencement speech on Sunday.



In the span of seconds, the CEO and Chairperson of Vista Equity Partners changed the lives of the 430-some graduates of the all-male, historically black college in Atlanta.
Graduating students left stunned as billionaire pledges to pay off ALL of their student loan debt during speech
The total price tag of Smith's generosity will amount to approximately $40 million.

'On behalf of the eight generations of my family who have been in this country, we're gonna out a little fuel in your bus,' Smith said.

'Now I've got the alumni over there. This is a challenge to you, alumni. This is my class, 2019. And my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans.'
Graduating students left stunned as billionaire pledges to pay off ALL of their student loan debt during speech
Smith's gift will go a long way toward combating wealth disparity in these young black men's lives, according to analysis of yearly data compiled by the National Longitudinal Study of Youth 1997 Cohort.

The cohort consists of a nationally representative sample of over 8,900 respondents who were interviewed nearly every year for the past 22 years, according to NBC.

In a study titled 'Racial Disparities in Student Debt and the Reproduction of the Fragile Black Middle Class,' researchers examining data from those interviews concluded that nearly 25 percent of black-white wealth gap can be attributed to student debt.






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