Billionaire Philanthropist Robert F. Smith to Pay Off $40 Million in Student Loans for Morehouse Graduates

Four months to the day after donating more than $1.5 million to Morehouse College for new facilities and program development, tech mogul and philanthropist Robert F. Smith announced plans to pay off the student loan debt of the college’s graduating class of 2019 — a total estimated at over $40 million.

"My family is going to create a grant to eliminate your student loans!" -Robert F. Smith told the graduating Class of 2019 @RFS_Vista #MorehouseGrad2019 pic.twitter.com/etG8JhVA46

— Morehouse College (@Morehouse) May 19, 2019

Smith made the announcement during his commencement speech, where he served as the keynote speaker for the ceremony and received an honorary degree.

Smith is a venture capitalist with more than $46 billion in investments in dozens of tech companies through his firm Vista Equity Partners. According to federal data, 74 percent of incoming first-year students at Morehouse during the 2017 academic year received more than $7800 in student loans.