The Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta Pilots a Program to Eliminate Student Debt
The Community Foundation for Greater Atlantaannounces the launch of a Student Loan Debt Pilot program, a “reverse scholarship” that will pay off up to $30,000 in student debt for borrowers in the Foundation’s three neighborhoods of focus in metro Atlanta: South Cobb (Fair Oaks); South Fulton (College Park and East Point); and Thomasville. The impact of student loan debt in marginalized communities, who borrow at higher interest rates, and the debt contributes to the wealth gap and has long-term implications for financial, physical, and mental health.
Americans collectively owe an estimated $1.75 trillion in student loans. Georgians owe an average of $40,268.87 in student loans—higher than the national average. Statewide, Georgians owe $66 billion in student loans.
Lauren Priest from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta joins us to discuss this new program. I asked her how we got into a place where student loans have never-ending payments. She speaks about the racial disparity of student loans and how it impacts wealth-building and credit. Student loans should be a tool, not a weight. They are testing “reverse scholarships” to pay off student loan debts for individuals based on need, demographics, and financial history.
Priest speaks to this pilot testing program that will assist a handful of people that they hope will be expanded to include many others. She explains that this challenge impacts the growing income inequality in our communities.
For more information about the Pilot Student Debt Scholarship Program