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Anonymous donor pays remaining tuition of graduating students at a Texas college

Anonymous donor pays remaining tuition of graduating students at a Texas college
More than 100 students graduating from Wiley College were informed Saturday that their remaining tuition was covered by an anonymous donor. Photo courtesy of Wiley College/Website

May 9 (UPI) -- An anonymous donor has paid the remaining tuition of students who graduated over the weekend from a historically Black college in Texas.

Wiley College in Marshall, located near the Texas border with Louisiana, announced in a statement that the more than 100 students who had gathered Saturday for their commencement convocation ceremony were informed that their balances had been covered.

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"We are grateful for this anonymous donor who will assist the students in paying off their balances to Wiley College and help us achieve institutional goals of graduating our students with little to no debt," said Herman Felton Jr., president and chief executive of the college.

The graduating class of 2022 had owed a balance of about $300,000, it said.

Tuition including fees, room and board at the school amounts to $17,500 following Wiley reducing its costs in the past few years. However, it said the COVID-19 pandemic had exacerbated the financial difficulties of many of its students.

"The announcement of cleared balances for graduates was a welcome surprise," the school said.

Founded in 1873, Wiley College, which is affiliated with The United Methodist Church, was featured in the 2007 historical drama The Great Debaters starring Denzel Washington about a group of debaters at the school in the mid-1930s.

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