Investor and philanthropist Robert F. Smith is advancing his efforts to financially empower students at historically Black colleges and universities, and he’s teaming up with media mogul Steve Harvey and his wife Marjorie to support HBCU scholars. The Harveys have joined Smith’s Student Freedom Initiative, which aims to eradicate barriers standing in the way of economic mobility and change the narrative surrounding the racial wealth gap.
Research shows students who attend HBCUs throughout the country are disproportionately affected by the burdens of student loans. The United Negro College Fund reported that students who attend historically Black colleges and universities borrow loans at higher rates and graduate with higher debt than those who attend non-HBCUs.
The weight of student loans often lingers and is a detriment to many individuals trying to cultivate financial stability. Aware of the disparities, Smith created the Student Freedom Initiative to address historic social and economic inequities and close the racial wealth gap by providing African American students with grants and other enrichment opportunities.
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SOURCE: NewsOne, Brandee Sanders