Journalist Roland Martin has teamed up with fast-food giant McDonald’s to offer $100,000 to historically Black colleges and university juniors and seniors.
The release adds that scholarships and grants typically cover just a quarter of the total cost of college per year, and scholarships for HBCU students are usually centered on a student’s transition from high school to college. As a result, upperclassmen are often left to deal with college costs and student loan debt alone.
Additionally, student loan debt affects Black college students significantly more than white college students. The Education Data Initiative reports Black college graduates owe an average of $25,000 more in student loan debt than white college graduates. Four years after graduation, 48% of Black students owe an average of 12.5% more than they borrowed. Black student borrowers are the most likely to struggle financially due to student loan debt, with 29% making monthly payments of $350 or more.
The TMCF will select seven juniors and seniors and award each $15,000 in scholarships for the 2022-2023 academic year. Those interested can apply on the TMCF website, and scholarship winners will be announced before the fall 2022 semester.
“We know the outstanding work being done at HBCUs, which is why our team is devoted to use our scale and resources to expand educational opportunities for Black students,” Reginald Miller, vice president and global diversity, equity and inclusion officer at McDonald’s said. “Our hope is that this scholarship effort helps build and support the pipeline of diverse talent that will go on to be changemakers in our society for decades to come.”
In addition to the scholarship funds, selected students will also get the opportunity to engage one-on-one with McDonald’s executives currently working in their respective fields of study.
“For more than two decades, we’ve worked with McDonald’s to provide critical resources to students when they need it most. Matriculating through college can be tough, and funds to support navigating that journey is a crucial part of ensuring graduation is attainable,” said Dr. Harry L. Williams, president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
“And we’re excited to extend our partnership with this scholarship to offer even more funds to HBCU students next year.”