Billionaire Robert Smith Pays Off $40 Million in Student Loans for Morehouse College Grads!!!
First Name Tom, Last Name Foolery… And I’m Everybody’s Uncle!
Especially this paying it forward billionaire… Robert F. Smith
Life just got a whole lot better for some recent college graduates. During the 2019 commencement address at Morehouse College, self-made billionaire Robert F. Smith announced that he was paying the student debt for the entire class.
The gift is estimated to be worth $40 million. It was the second gift that Smith announced during the commencement ceremony. Smith, who received an honorary doctorate from the college, also made a $1.5 million gift to the school to be used for scholarships & the development of a new park. A spokesperson for Morehouse College called it the biggest single gift in the school’s history.
Smith is the chairman & CEO of Vista Equity Partners, a private equity group that invests in software companies. Smith is ranked at #355 on Forbes' Billionaires 2019 with an estimated worth of $5 billion. He is, according to a 2018 issue of Forbes, the country's wealthiest African-American (yes, even more than Oprah).
Smith's generous gift means that the nearly 400 students in the Morehouse College Class of 2019 won't have to scramble to pay back potentially tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt. Zack Friedman recently reported that there are 44 million borrowers who collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt in the United States. That makes student loan debt the second highest consumer debt category in the country - more than credit cards & auto loans. Most students shoulder debt of between $10,000 - $25,000, but a whopping 2.5 million students owe more than $100,000 in debt.
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By: Kelly Phillips Erb