Entertainment mogul Nick Cannon has used his platform to amplify the importance of ownership and financial freedom and he’s putting the focus on empowering students at historically Black colleges and universities to take charge of their futures. According to The News & Observer, the television host unveiled a student debt cancellation initiative for HBCU scholars.
During a recent segment on his new talk show, the Nick Cannon Show, he highlighted the immeasurable significance that HBCUs hold within the realm of education and beyond. He also brought attention to the financial burdens often faced by students attending these institutions. Although there has been an outpour of fiscal support for HBCUs throughout the country, there are many students dealing with obstacles that stem from socio-economic barriers; ultimately deterring them from pursuing degrees. The United Negro College Fund reported students who attend historically Black colleges and universities borrow student loans at higher rates than those who attend non-HBCUs.
During the show seven students candidly told their stories; detailing how they overcame unsurmountable odds to continue their paths in higher education. Amongst those who shared their journeys were Winston-Salem State University student Sharandica Midcalf who spoke about her struggle with homelessness, Saint Augustine’s University scholar Mackenzie Estep who shared she was working multiple jobs to cover her tuition and Texas Southern University student D’Angelo Colter who spoke about nearly dropping out of college because he could not afford it. To support the students as they move forward with cultivating foundations for success, Cannon surprised them by sharing he would eliminate their outstanding student loan debt upon their graduation.
“Historically Black colleges and universities have played a pivotal role in developing some of the brightest minds and influencers of our time,” Cannon shared during his show. “I was so moved by all of your stories and the obstacles that you’ve overcome that I’ve got to help out. Our show has partnered with some of the biggest national scholarship providers, such as the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, to grant each of you a scholarship to cover your outstanding education loan balances. Once you earn your college degree, we’re wiping out your student debt—every single penny.”
Cannon’s generous act comes a year after he graduated from Howard University with a degree in Criminology & Administration of Justice and a minor in Africana Studies.