UNCF, in partnership with African Pride® and JFM® Curl Peace™, announced a program that will transform the lives of African American/Black students dealing with crippling student loan debt. This focuses on students who have invested in higher education and should confidently have a pathway to upward economic mobility.
The UNCF Wear Your Crown With Confidence™ Loan Forgiveness and Scholarship program will provide $1,000,000 in financial aid debt relief over three years to current students or graduates of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs,) and any four-year accredited university. Eligible students are between the ages of 18-35 who are currently enrolled or graduates, and have taken out college loans to fund their undergraduate education.
NBC News/GenForward at the University of Chicago Survey cites one out of every two African American Millennials has up to $29,000 in student loan debt. That is three times the debt of other racial subgroups. Offering financial education can be transformational, but to win the award and receive significant debt relief in this program will be life-changing. Standout applicants will have a strong record of service to their communities. “Our commitment is $1,000,000 over three years. We are the first to offer such a program, and there is no other organization better than UNCF for us to partner with for this legacy-building program.”
The UNCF Wear Your Crown with Confidence Loan Forgiveness and Scholarship program will be administered and managed by UNCF for three years, through 2022.
Applicants for the one-time need-based program must meet the following criteria:
• Applicants must currently have or have possessed a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale at the time of their graduation or during their period of attendance at a 4-year, accredited HBCU or 4-year accredited university. Applicants can have had up to 5 years to have completed their degree.
• Applicants must have an outstanding, cumulative student loan debt in excess of 40% of their current annual income from all sources, or an existing monthly student loan repayment obligation in excess of 25% of their current monthly income from all sources.
“For 75 years, our motto ‘A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in,’ ® has remained at the forefront of everything we do,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF. “We must continue to invest our time and money in better futures for young people around the country. Partners like African Pride and JFM Curl Peace and their house of brands are vitally important to this work and we are pleased to join with them on this initiative.”
Applications for the UNCF Wear Your Crown With Confidence Loan Forgiveness and Scholarship Program will be accepted until July 26, 2019 for the first wave. The second wave of applications will open in January 2020. Click here to apply, or to be put on the priority list to be notified when the next program wave opens.