Wilberforce University confirmed on Saturday that it is wiping around $375,000 in student loan debt off its books for the classes of 2020 and 2021. The announcement comes after US President Joe Biden did not include student loan cancellation in this year’s federal budget.
“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,” Wilberforce President Elfred Anthony Pinkard explained.
The university’s decision to forgive all student debt was made possible through financial support from the United Negro College Fund, Jack and Jill, and others.
Wilberforce also received emergency relief funding through the Cares Act, which helped students who otherwise would have been unable to enroll in the fall due to financial constraints.
‘Brighter Financial Future’
Wilberforce alumnus Rodman Allen is one of the students who will benefit from Pinkard’s recent announcement.
“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,” he remarked.
According to ProgressNow, students with outstanding loan payments are 36 percent less likely to purchase a house and less likely to have taken out car loans. Wilberforce believes that forgiving student debt stimulates the economy because potential borrowers are encouraged to spend more.
Other Universities Cancelling Student Debt
Earlier this month, Delaware State University cancelled up to $730,000 in student loan debt for more than 220 graduates.
“Our students don’t just come here for a quality college experience,” Delaware President Tony Allen said. “Most are trying to change the economic trajectory of their lives for themselves, their families, and their communities. Our responsibility is to do everything we can to put them on the path.”
Contra Costa College in Northern Carolina also provided a surprise graduation present for this year’s class in the form of student loan forgiveness so that no student is denied a degree due to outstanding debt to the school.