Ohio HBCU Cancels Debt For Graduating Students

An Ohio Black college is wiping the financial slate clean for its graduates this year.

According to Cleveland.com, Wilberforce University President Elfred Anthony Pinkard shocked seniors at Saturday’s commencement ceremony and announced that their student debt has been cancelled. According to a statement by the school, the debt erased totals more than $375,000.

“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 said in the statement.

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Wilberforce says the debt elimination was in part thanks to assistance from the United Negro College Fund, Inc., Jack and Jill, Inc., and other institutional funding. It does not include federal loans, bank loans or other personal loans taken by students.

“I couldn’t believe it when (Pinkard) said it,” graduate Rodman Allen said in the statement. “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.”

Located in southwestern Ohio, Wilberforce is the oldest, private HBCU in the nation and has 500 students.

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