Students graduating from a historically Black college in Marshall, Texas received the surprise of a lifetime during their commencement ceremony.
“You are debt-free. You do not owe the college a penny,” Wiley College’s president and CEO, Herman J. Felton Jr., announced. “If you HAD a balance, you no longer HAVE a balance.”
Over 100 students sitting at graduation cheered when they found out the good news.
An anonymous donor generously paid for all of the students remaining balances, which was an estimated $300,000.
“Our commitment to our students goes beyond their time while they are enrolled,” Felton Jr. said in a statement. “We are constantly communicating with donors to assist students in these ways so that they can begin their after-college experience with less debt.”
This will make a tremendous difference for these students as they can now worry less about how they will pay their debts and focus more on finding employment with their new degrees.
Tuition at Wiley College has been lowered over the years to allow more students to afford an education and is now $17,500 a year, but many students still end up having a balance at graduation. The COVID-19 Pandemic only made it more difficult many students to pay their balances.
Luckily, this graduation class does not have to worry about their remaining balances anymore!
“The anonymous gift sets graduates on a continued path to success and allows Wiley College to strengthen its commitment to providing an affordable exceptional education,” the college said in a statement. “As Wiley College closes the academic semester and prepares for its Sesquicentennial Celebrations beginning in July, this is a great way to end the semester and start the celebration of 150 years of the College’s contributions to the world.”
Watch the students learn that they’re debt-free at their graduation in the video below:Whizzco