It’s an amazing headline making it’s way around the internet, and for good reason!
Billionaire Robert Smith, commencement speaker at Morehouse College’s graduation this past weekend, pledged to pay off the student loan debt from everyone in the 2019 graduating class.
Like you, we did a double take when we saw it. Because this is a gift of tens of millions of dollars. (Early estimates were around $40 million.)
Our reaction was like yours–we were wowed by the generosity.
But make no mistake–this is a bittersweet headline. You see, it unveils an overlooked truth:
An entire class of college graduates were prepared to walk out into the adult world for the first time with an average of $100,000 in debt. EACH. Let that sink in for a bit.
A little more about these graduates: there were about 400 of them receiving their diplomas from Morehouse College–a small, prestigious, historically black, all-male liberal arts school in the south.
And that small class of 400 had already accrued tens of millions of dollars in student loan debt–the kind of debt that will set them back in life just as they’re getting started.
This is our depressing reality. Our society has normalized this. Students–and their parents–across the country accept this amount of student loan debt as a “normal” part of getting a college education.
But it’s not normal. It shouldn’t be normal. And it shouldn’t take charity to relieve young people of this burden.
No one should have to shoulder this kind of burden just to get an education in this country. This is a symptom of a broken system.
Small amounts of student loan debt can be acceptable–manageable amounts, and we are happy to answer any questions about what that looks like.
But it truly doesn’t have to be this way–not if you know how to navigate the educational system today. Not if you know how to plan for college the right way–so that you don’t have to take on that much debt in the first place.
College Liftoff develops strategies for families on a case-by-case basis to leverage scholarships and financial aid to reduce college costs and student loan debt.
We’ve worked with more than 700 families, saving them tens of millions of dollars in higher education–and ensuring that no student we work with takes on more student loan debt than they can manage with their average starting salary.
What are your thoughts on this Morehouse College student loan debt forgiveness news? Do you have any questions about student loan debt, and how to avoid too much of it? We are here to answer your questions, so feel free to ask away. We’re happy to keep this conversation rolling.