You can’t count on this, she warned.
Don’t expect handouts.
Don’t get into debt in the first place.
Don’t expect billionaires to bail you out of life.
Oh, and college should be affordable for all — courtesy of the U.S. government.
These were some of the messages and vibes Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) shared with today’s young people on her Twitter account in the wake of an extraordinary and surprising gift by billionaire investor Robert F. Smith at Morehouse College in Atlanta over the weekend during its latest commencement.
He’s pledged to take care of all the graduates’ student loans.
— Morehouse College (@Morehouse) May 19, 2019
🎓Commencement speaker pays student loan debt for entire @Morehouse class of 2019! We all need some good news. Please RT, circulate, and elevate this excellence. #BlackExcellence https://t.co/mGS1Rywqbb
— T Delfín (@professordelfin) May 19, 2019
Smith founded Vista Equity Partners. He made his announcement while speaking to graduates of the historically black college during the 135th commencement ceremony.
His gift to the students is worth approximately $40 million.
“We’re going to put a little fuel in your bus,” Smith told the students. “This is my class, 2019. And my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans.”
The seniors and their families were stunned by the announcement — and after a few seconds of recognition passed, they stood up and cheered, hugged, laughed and cried.
AOC thought it was a lovely gift — but couldn’t resist doling out warning messages.
It’s important to note that people shouldn’t be in a situation where they depend on a stranger’s enormous act of charity for this kind of liberation to begin with (aka college should be affordable), but it is an incredible act of community investment in this system as it is. 🎓
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 19, 2019
The newly minted lawmaker also shared this message.
“Every Morehouse Class of 2019 student is getting their student debt load paid off by their commencement speaker,” she wrote. “This could be the start of what’s known in Econ as a ‘natural experiment.’ Follow these students & compare their life choices w/ their peers over the next 10-15 years.”
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