An Xavier University of Louisiana student is raising millions to ensure other students don’t experience crippling student debt that she avoided. Learn about how much Normandie Cormier has helped other students raise for their education after raising $9 million for herself in the Louisiana Weekly article by Kai Davis below.
It is her mission to ensure students, like her, can attend and graduate from college debt free. Now Normandie Cormier, a 20-year-old Lafayette, La., native, has set out to tackle what she sees as the biggest crisis facing her generation: student debt.
“Student debt is crazy in America,” said Cormier, who started the company XollegePass to help students find ways to pay for college. “I think making sure every student had the pivotal academic and financial resources available to succeed and graduate debt-free was really important to me,” Cormier said, adding that she believes education should be a right, and not a privilege.
Cormier is taking her own lessons to help future college students. She earned $9.4 million in scholarships from 144 colleges she received acceptances from in 2019. She has since worked to help college-bound students earn almost $400 million in scholarships and grants while a neuroscience major at Xavier University of Louisiana.
With the student loan debt crisis that has surpassed $2 trillion for U.S. citizens, many graduates and those who hold professional degrees live at poverty levels as they struggle to pay back student loans while earning an entry-level wage.
Cormier said through XollegePass, she provides tutoring, ACT/SAT prep and scholarship application support for any student regardless of their background.
“I grew up in a low-income neighborhood and was raised by a single mother who worked numerous jobs to make the best for my brother and me, most of my strength comes from my mom,” Cormier said of her mother, Chantelle Gary. “A lot of times I did not see a lot of different academic opportunities to excel. I feel like it is so important for those opportunities to be accessible to students right now,” Cormier said in a statement.
To further the foundation of the program, Cormier has partnered with universities and grant programs to help send students to college. The program offers monthly scholarships, full-ride scholarships, academic scholarships, celebrity scholarships, company scholarships and student-athlete scholarships.
“I would not have it any other way,” shared Christina B. in an online testimonial of Cormier’s program. “I decided to homeschool my older kids after having a baby and was swamped with my busy daily schedule. XP definitely had my back with great homeschool curriculums for success and tutoring,” Christina B. posted.
For African Americans, financial support is important during college, particularly for first-generation students who see college as an opportunity for economic mobility. It also allows first-generation students to begin to consider advanced degrees that can help them build generational wealth.
Experts note that student debt has increased more than 100 percent within the last 10 years, especially during the pandemic in which it has become worse. It has been one of the main policy areas still being debated as part of the Biden administration’s policies.
The average white student loan borrower owes around $30,000 in student debt; the average Black borrower owes closer to $34,000, according to national estimates. This means students who are Black or Hispanic, are more likely to graduate college with an excess amount of debt compared to white students.
“The student debt crisis impacted our community the most, Black students make up more than 60 percent of students in the debt crisis,” Cormier said.
Not only does Cormier help college-bound students, but she has also given kids as early as middle school students opportunities to apply for scholarships by offering test-prep and tutoring, even programs to K-12 students to better their future with the goal to go to college debt-free.
“[XollegePass] is not just an organization or company XollegePass is helping students to achieve their dreams,” said Chantelle Gary, Cormier’s mother. “Helping to take the headache out of wondering how are students going to pay for college and how students are going to be able to succeed and live out their dreams,” Gary added.
Today, XollegePass has numerous award-winning services such as result driven test prep and college preparation, scholarship advising and college admissions consulting, NCAA regulated student-athlete programs, global business and financial literacy courses, home-schooling curriculums and global educational enrichment programs.
“Yes, when you are called to do something, you realize blessing people is a blessing in itself,” Cormier said. “I realized it is not about me, it is about them and being able to help them achieve their academic goals.”
Through raising millions in scholarships for other students so they can avoid college debt, Cormier said she is finding her purpose.
“I feel myself as being someone who was called to do something and I think that what I am doing now through XollegePass is part of my calling,” Cormier said. “This is only the beginning and there is so much more in store,” she added.