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Dam the Debt Gets BB&T Boost
Washington College President Sheila Bair has announced a partnership with BB&T, one of the largest financial services firms in the country, to support a new plan that tackles student loans for graduating seniors. The program, called Dam the Debt, is one of Bair’s initiatives to address the issue of affordability in higher education.
Dam the Debt seeks to decrease the amount of money that Washington College seniors owe through the generous support of partners and donors. BB&T has committed $200,000, broken into $50,000 a year for four years, to the initiative. Senior students who are eligible to graduate will see their total student debt reduced through a nontaxable adjustment of their financial aid award.
“BB&T is deeply committed to supporting the communities in which we work and live,” says Richard Springer, president for BB&T’s Annapolis and Northern Eastern Shore market. “We know how important it is for young people starting out in their professional lives to have stable financial footing, and we’re proud to work with Washington College to give their graduates the strongest start possible.”
Washington College provides more than $23 million in grants and scholarships every year, with more than 90 percent of students receiving merit-based scholarships or need-based financial aid. BB&T’s support, says Bair, is invaluable to helping reward the hard work and dedication of students who have used every means at their disposal to seize the opportunity to attend one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country.
“Increasing levels of college debt affect the entire nation. And with total student debt in America at $1.3 trillion, borrowers are putting off the major life choices that help keep our country strong, like saving for the future,” Bair says. “We are grateful for the support of BB&T and Richard’s team in helping us launch our students into the next phase of their life with fewer financial burdens placed upon them.”
Dam the Debt, Bair says, is an affirmation of Washington College’s strong commitment to mitigating student debt without compromising educational quality and support services.