Snapchat Co-Founder and CEO Evan Spiegel and his wife Miranda Kerr, model and CEO of beauty brand KORA Organics, paid off student debt for the Otis College of Art and Design's 2022 graduating class via a donation through the Spiegel Family Fund.
The announcement from the Los Angeles, California nonprofit institution stated the donation represents the largest single gift in the college's 104-year history.
"Student debt weighs heavily on our diverse and talented graduates. We hope this donation will provide much-deserved relief and empower them to pursue their aspirations and careers, pay this generosity forward, and become the next leaders of our community," Otis College President Charles Hirschhorn said.
Spiegel and Kerr's donation was announced at the Class of 2022's May 15 commencement ceremony, during which three honorary degree recipients were announced. They included Spiegel, who took classes Otis College classes while in high school, Kerr and "Queer Eye" host Bobby Berk.
If you're looking to possibly lower your monthly payment toward student loans of your own, you could consider refinancing, which would allow you to pay more toward the principal balance. Visit Credible to find your personalized interest rate without affecting your credit score.
Spiegel, Kerr's donation to help diverse range of students
Otis College graduates received a letter following the commencement ceremony that explained how Spiegel and Kerr's donation will pay back their student loans. Parts of the donation were also utilized to create an "Alternative Loan Debt Repayment Fund," which the college says will be used "to make charitable gifts to graduating students with similar educational loans secured outside of Otis College."
The statement from the school explained that the funds from the donation will help a diverse range of students through a variety of industries, as it's one of the most diverse colleges in America — 77% of the student body identifies as students of color. More than 90% of Otis College students receive financial aid and upon graduation, and that same amount find employment in creative fields.
"This gift will help advance the College’s goal of empowering students – regardless of background or socioeconomic status – to pursue their dreams, uninhibited by the burden of financial debt," the announcement read.
If you are struggling to keep up with repayment of your student debt, you could consider refinancing in order to lower your monthly payments. Visit Credible to compare multiple student lenders at once and choose the one with the best interest rate for you.
How you can lower your student debt
Student loan debt hit a new record high in the first quarter of 2022, reaching $1.59 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It represented an increase of $14 billion from the fourth quarter of 2021 alone, and now accounts for about 10% of Americans' total household debt.
However, borrowers still have options to ease the burden of student debt. Here are a few:
1. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
If you have federal student loans, you may be able to have them forgiven through PSLF, which forgives the remaining balance on Direct loans after borrowers have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualified repayment plan.
This program is for those employed by a U.S. federal, state, local or tribal government or not-for-profit organization.
2. Student loan forbearance
Borrowers of federal student loans currently have the option to forgo their student loan payments, since all requirements paused until August 31. This is the fourth time President Joe Biden has postponed federal student loan repayment. At his most recent extension, his administration cited "significant economic hardship" as the reason for the continued payment pause.
3. Student loan refinance
Borrowers of private student loans do not qualify for student loan forgiveness or for the current forbearance in place, but they can take steps to lower their financial burden from loans.
Refinancing can help borrowers lower their interest rate and reduce the monthly payment on their loans. They can also choose to use the extra savings to pay toward the principal balance on the student loan.
If you are interested in refinancing your student loans, contact Credible to speak to a student loan expert and get all of your questions answered.
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