Billionaire extends gift to pay off debt for Morehouse graduates

Billionaire Robert Smith shocked graduates during his commencement speech at Morehouse College last spring when he announced he would pay off their student loans.

Now Smith, the chairman & CEO of Vista Equity Partners, is extending that gift.

Smith has expanded the Morehouse Student Success Program — a historic scholarship, loan debt, research and educational initiative — to not only pay off the loans taken on by students, but also the loans taken on by their parents and guardians to fund their Morehouse education.

The gift will help more than 400 people, according to a news release issued by the college.

Six types of loans will be repaid including federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans, Georgia Student Access Loans, Perkins and Parent Plus Loans, and some private student loans.

Smith received an honorary doctorate from Morehouse College and gave the commencement speech at the Atlanta school during the spring 2019. His donation to pay off the graduating class’s student debt totaled $34 million.

The wealthy financier also has ties to D.C. as the second largest donor of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC).

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