Programs

Philanthropists Patty Quillin and Reed Hastings donate $40 Million

Philanthropists Patty Quillin and Reed Hastings, chief executive of Netflix, have donated $40 million to the Morehouse College Student Success Program to establish a fund that will allow at least 200 students to graduate debt free. The history-making contribution is the largest gift to Morehouse College in the institution’s 153-year history and has contributed to a record year in which the college will raise more than $105 million.

Quillin and Hastings made the donation because they support Morehouse’s mission, which is to develop men with disciplined minds who are focused on academic excellence, leadership, and service. The philanthropists also wanted to invest in Morehouse’s work as the national epicenter for thought leadership on civil rights. The college is committed to helping the nation to address the inequities caused by institutional racism, which have created disparities in income, employment, health, housing, and educational opportunities for people of African descent.

Read the full story on Inside Morehouse.

Robert F. Smith Donates $34 million for Class of 2019

Robert F. Smith, the founder, chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, and his family donated $34 million to the Morehouse College Student Success Program to pay off the loans that students and parents of the Class of 2019 accumulated to fund a Morehouse education.

The history-making grant from Mr. Smith, who announced his intention to make this grant when he received an honorary doctorate from Morehouse in May 2019, will ease the financial strain on the Class of 2019, the billionaire’s “classmates.” The $34 million contribution to the Morehouse Student Success Program will benefit the new alumni by allowing them to pursue advanced degrees, start careers, and build wealth without being tethered to undergraduate loan debt related to Morehouse.

Read the full story on Inside Morehouse.

Student Success Program Inaugural Gift FAQ

What is the Morehouse Student Success Program?
  • The Student Success Program was designed to address the financial needs of the men of Morehouse and to support the College’s imperative objective to educate families on the impact of debt on marginalized communities that lack the resources to pursue their educational and professional passions.
  • The Morehouse College Board of Trustees unanimously adopted a resolution to create the fund-raising, research, and educational initiative. The board’s insight ensures that Morehouse College becomes a vital voice in addressing one of the nation’s most challenging obstacles in higher education— the cost and the stifling student loan debt that burdens college graduates.
  • Under the Student Success Program, Morehouse can solicit and accept donations made specifically to reduce or eliminate the student loan debt of Morehouse Men.
  • Morehouse will study the freedom of choice that alumni experience in their lives and careers when their loans are paid in full or reduced to manageable levels. The College will also study the impact of education debt on black men in general. Research findings will be released nationally.
  • Under the Student Success Program, Morehouse has garnered interest from other benefactors who share our vision to increase scholarships, tackle student loan debt, conduct research, and educate families on the long-term impact of debt. With their financial support:
    • The Student Success Program will be able to offer full-and-partial-ride scholarships to current and future men of Morehouse.
    • The Student Success Program will launch an outreach that also provides Morehouse students and their families with access to financial literacy programs that detail the impact of debt on family budgets
Who is eligible to receive an Inaugural Gift funded by the first donation to the Student Success Program?
  • Students who were eligible to graduate from Morehouse College on May 19, 2019, can receive a gift.
  • Students who completed their graduation requirements during summer school 2019 can receive a gift.
  • Parents or legal guardians who took on Parent Plus loans to support the education of gift-eligible graduating seniors can receive a grant.
What are the expectations of Inaugural Gift recipients?
  • Students must provide written acknowledgment of their acceptance of the gift.
  • Students must provide current documentation showing their outstanding loan balances.
  • Students are encouraged to participate in a long-term study to assess the impact of college debt reduction and elimination on their life and career choices.
  • Morehouse asks students to remember the spirit of the gift given to the Class of 2019 and consider paying it forward by supporting future classes of Morehouse Men.
What is the total sum of the Inaugural Gift awarded to the Morehouse College Student Success Program?
  • Philanthropist Robert Smith, founder, chairman, and CEO of Vista Equity Partners donated $34 million to the Morehouse College Student Success Program.
    • Donation will help to cover education loan balances for more than 400 borrowers as of August 28, 2019, as reported by the Department of Education and verified by the Class of 2019, their parents, or legal guardians.
  • Gift includes the full payment of the principal and interest for six types of education loans.
    • Only loans used to pay for educational expenses at Morehouse College are eligible.
  • Gift includes Parent Plus loans.
  • Gift does not include:
    • Payments previously made to federal student loans, payments previously made to Parent Plus loans, or loans for educational expenses at other colleges.
Which loans will be paid off by the Inaugural Gift?

The following loans with balances as of August 28, 2019, are eligible for repayment under the Student Success Program:

  • If borrowers have federal subsidized loans processed through Morehouse College, they will be paid.
  • If borrowers have federal unsubsidized loans processed through Morehouse College, they will be paid.
  • If borrowers have Georgia Student Access Loans processed through Morehouse College, they will be paid.
  • If borrowers have Perkins Loans processed through Morehouse College, they will be paid.
  • Alternative or private loans (from Sallie Mae, Discover, or another private lender) processed through Morehouse College will also be paid. Borrowers will be required to upload documentation received from these loan services for balances outstanding as of August 28, 2019.
  • Parent Plus Loans processed through Morehouse College will also be paid.
When will the Inaugural Gift pay loan balances in full?
  • Multiple loan service providers oversee the repayment of Student and Parent Plus loans nationwide. Many of our families have loans with several loan service providers. We are working with multiple lenders, including the Department of Education to have each loan paid off in a timely manner.
  • The Morehouse Student Success Program will complete the disbursement of funds to loan service providers by Spring 2020.
  • Any borrower with questions should contact studentsuccessprogram@morehouse.edu or call (470) 639-0943.