Graduation is an equally exciting and terrifying time for many college students. While the time should be spent celebrating the massive achievement, many are fraught with worries of the future—namely, how they are going to overcome the debt they’ve accumulated.
Wiley College in Marshall, Texas has made a commitment to providing students an affordable college experience. But even with low tuition costs, many still go into debt. This problem was exacerbated for the class of 2022, as partway through their schooling, the world was racked by the global pandemic. Jobs and wages were lost, forcing some students to go even further into debt to survive.
Wiley College, founded in 1873
“Our commitment to our students goes beyond their time while they are enrolled,” President and CEO Herman J. Felton Jr. says. “We are constantly communicating with donors to assist students in these ways so that they can begin their after-college experience with less debt.”
On May 7, more than 100 students gathered on the Pemberton Sports Complex Field to say goodbye to their college and hello to their future careers. The line-up of standard “good luck” speeches was disrupted by President Herman who took to the stage to announce that all their debts had been paid. An anonymous donor covered all outstanding debts.
“You do not owe the college a penny,” Felton told the crowd. “If you have a balance, you had a balance. You no longer have a balance.”
The crowd quite literally erupted into cheers. Students and faculty alike can be seen raising their fists in triumph, rising from their seats, and celebrating with another. While the future may be uncertain, this is one thing recent graduates never have to worry about causing them problems. They can step into the next chapter of their lives with their heads held high.
“We are grateful for this anonymous donor who will assist the students in paying off their balances to Wiley College and help us achieve institutional goals of graduating our students with little to no debt,” Felton says.
Credit: Wiley College
The anonymous donor has chosen to remain just that, but the effects of their kindness will certainly never be forgotten. Having covered an estimated amount of $300,000 in tuition, this act of kindness will undoubtedly go down in the school’s history. The school’s motto, “Go forth Inspired” has never been more fitting.
“As Wiley College closes the academic semester and prepares for its Sesquicentennial Celebrations beginning in July, this is a great way to start the celebration of 150 years of the College’s contributions to the world.”
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