Former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young Teams Up With McGraw Hill for New HBCU Scholarship Program

Former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young Teams Up With McGraw Hill for New HBCU Scholarship Program

Former Atlanta mayor and activist Andrew Young is the face of a new scholarship program for students at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

The 1951 Howard University graduate teamed up with education giant McGraw Hill to give HBCU students a chance to pursue an education without the financial burdens of college, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Named the Andrew Young HBCU Scholarship program, this initiative is funded by an initial $50,000 investment thanks to McGraw Hill Education. Next fall, 10 first-year students who plan to be a part of the HBCU legacy will reap the benefits of financial support and McGraw Hill’s existing civil rights education curriculum.

“Every young adult needs a fair chance,” said McGraw Hill President Sean Ryan.

Young, who recalls spending no more than $400 a semester, graduated college debt-free. Today, data indicates that the average cost of college in the United States is $35,550 per student per year, including books, supplies, and daily living expenses.

“The challenge today is how do you get an education and get a job to help pay you to pay back all of that money you borrowed that is going to leave you in debt,” said the nation’s first Black U.N. ambassador.

“College should not destroy your credit rating and set you back before you start.”

According to a recent report, HBCU graduates have an average debt of $32,373, which is 19% higher than those at non-HBCUs.

“Although many Americans are burdened by their student loan debt, borrowers who attended HBCUs have been especially hard hit, due to the impacts of systemic racism on wealth accumulation for families and unequal resource distribution among institutions,” as stated in Paying from the Grave by the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL).

The program was inspired by Matt Daniels, the chair of the law and human rights division at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. civil rights. He was instrumental in designing the Civil Rights: A Global Perspective, in which students will delve deeper into the “non-violent social justice principles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., according to its website.

“We want to use this to plug the gap,” Daniels said of the scholarship.

“For many students, HBCUs are usually the first ladder out of poverty.”