Many hope surprise Morehouse gift has ripple effect

Education experts hope billionaire Robert F Smith’s surprise announcement last Sunday that he’ll pay the student loan debt for this spring’s graduating class at Morehouse College in the United States will be a game changer, writes Eric Stirgus for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“I hope [Smith] starts off a trend,” former Spelman College president Beverly Tatum said the following Monday. “I’m sure it will have a ripple effect that these are institutions [HBCUs] worth investing in and the students are worth investing in,” Tatum said.

Rising student loan debt has been one of the most troubling issues in higher education, particularly for students attending historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) such as Morehouse, located near downtown Atlanta. Student loan debt held by the federal government has tripled since 2007, to about US$1.5 trillion, a “crisis”, US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said during an address in Atlanta last year.
Full report on the AJC site