WASHINGTON, DC – August 22, 2016 – Today, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) announced a new advocacy campaign, #intheblack, to introduce tools and resources to support the need for knowledge about student loan repayment and overall financial literacy for Historically Black College and University (HBCU) students and parents. The Campaign will address the student loan debt repayment crisis, which is a major factor delaying financial independence for many new graduates. It will serve as a resource to educate students and parents about the various student loan repayment options and provide financial aid literacy development opportunities. The goal is to get more students out of debt (in the red) and financially #intheblack.
Funded by a grant from the Federal Financial Aid Advocacy Fund, administered through HCM Strategists, the grant is made possible by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which supports innovative, timely advocacy activities that engage new stakeholders and partners in federal policy-making for financial aid.
“The average student graduates with more than $30,000 in debt,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., President & CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. “TMCF has historically worked with our partners to provide financial literacy to college students; however, there aren’t many discussions around student loan repayment. Through this campaign, we will be able to direct students and their parents to a resource that will answer their questions and provide guidance on how to responsibly navigate the student loan debt repayment process.”
HBCUs disproportionately enroll low-income, first-generation and academically underprepared college students. Only 22% of HBCU graduates leave school with no debt, compared to nearly double the number of graduates at non-HBCUs. The campaign will help students customize a loan repayment plan by offering tools such as a loan repayment calculator. A major component of the Initiative is a student loan repayment advocacy and engagement conference in Washington DC, for 50 HBCU students this September.
“I believe my peers and I are guilty of thinking short-term,” said Jerel Smith, a Mass Communications & Marketing major at Winston-Salem State University. “Looking back, I wish I prepared as much for my financial future as I did for my educational one.”
For more information or to join the #intheblack coalition, visit www.getintheblack.org.
About Thurgood Marshall College Fund
The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), established in 1987 is named for the U.S. Supreme Court’s first African-American Justice. TMCF represents all Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and its member-schools include the 47 publicly-supported HBCUs. With TMCF member-schools educating 80% of all students attending HBCUs, TMCF helps students with a clear intention to succeed acquire a high-quality college education at an affordable cost. TMCF also efficiently connects high performing, world-ready students with top tier employment opportunities—access that students or employers might not have on their own. Through its scholarships and programs, TMCF plays a key role in preparing the leaders of tomorrow.
TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization. For more information about TMCF and its initiatives, visit: tmcf.org.