Nearly 3,000 Morehouse College graduates’ student debt has been cleared thanks to the Debt Collective — a debtors union pushing to abolish all forms of debt.
On Monday, the Debt Collective announced it collaborated with the all-men’s HBCU to wipe out all outstanding account balances that were in collections for the fall 2022 term and prior.
According to the university, Morehouse transferred the remaining balances to the Rolling Jubilee Fund, the Debt Collective’s sister organization, eliminating $9.7 million for 2,777 former students as a “no-strings-attached gift.”
“Our nation is defaulting on the promise of education when we burden communities, especially Black HBCU graduates, with crushing amounts of student debt,” said Braxton Brewington, spokesperson for the Debt Collective. “This nearly $10M of student debt cancellation will put thousands of Black folks in a better position to be able to save for retirement, purchase a home or start a small business. President Biden has yet to make good on his campaign promise to eliminate all student debt held by HBCU graduates. We’re doing our part, and it’s time Biden does his. Forty-five million Americans need this relief.”
According to research by the United Negro College Fund, students who attend HBCUs borrow at a far greater rate than their peers at other types of schools and are nearly three times as likely to borrow $40,000 or more.
The Legal Defense Fund found that in 2019, 86% of Black students used student loans to pay for their education, with an average of $39,500 taken out. Furthermore, in 2022, 57% of Black student loan borrowers had at least $25,000 of debt from their education, according to the Federal Reserve.
“Debt has proven itself to be one of the strongest deterrents in a prospective students’ decision to attend college and inhibitors in alumni’s socioeconomic success post-graduation,” David A. Thomas, president of Morehouse College, said in a statement. “It is why our Morehouse’s $500 million capital campaign aims to position the College as a need-blind institution by 2030. Partners like the Debt Collective and Rolling Jubilee are making the investment to help level the financial playing field for our students and alumni, and we are all tremendously grateful for their vote of confidence through such a generous gift and financial relief.”