May 19, 2019

Billionaire pays off student debt of Morehouse College's entire graduating class

Robert F. Smith. Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for RFK Ripple of Hope

Commencement speaker and billionaire Robert F. Smith announced Sunday he will donate an estimated $40 million to pay off the student debt for the 400 students graduating at the historically black, all-male Morehouse College, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Why it matters: Student debt in the United States has reached $1.5 trillion. Studies show student debt causes lower incomes and is the No. 1 stressor of millennials.

Smith, a philanthropist, tech investor and founder of Vista Equity Partners, already donated $1.5 million to the college.

  • “This degree you’ve earned is a social contract to devote your talents and energies to honoring those legends on whose shoulders we stand," Smith said to the class of 2019.
  • “Between doubt and destiny is action. Between our community and the American Dream is leadership."

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