BET Founder Johnson Pitches Minority-friendly Student Loan Product - Higher Education
Higher Education News and Jobs

BET Founder Johnson Pitches Minority-friendly Student Loan Product

Email


by Margaret Kamara


WASHINGTON, D.C.

Urban Ed Express, the loan company launched last year by BET founder Robert Johnson, promises to not only help students prevented from pursuing a college education because of financial barriers, but to encourage financial literacy in the Black community as a whole, Johnson told an audience at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators conference on Monday.

           

The association estimates that 400,000 students each year fail to realize their higher education dreams because of a lack of finances. The new loan company, part of Johnson’s initiative to make college affordable, is part of a bank that will also branch out into the mortgage and other markets.

One of the factors Johnson says holds Black students back, especially those that come from big families as he did, is the feeling that the cost of college would be a burden on their parents, who are already struggling to make ends meet, but it’s not.

“You are not robbing your parents or cheating your brothers and sisters for wanting [a college education],” said Johnson during a discussion moderated by Emmy-award winning broadcast journalist, Ed Gordon.

Johnson said borrowing money for school should not be looked at as debt. “Debt is what you pay with an interest rate, education is an investment.”

Though the qualifications students and parents must meet to be eligible for the UEE loan is similar to that of other loan services, including having a “positive credit history” or a cosigner who does, Johnson says if a student lacks these prerequisites there is still hope.

The company would conduct a comprehensive background check to determine the circumstances for the poor credit. The company would consider the circumstances, whether it was due to a death or temporary job layoff, and create a loan package that meets the student’s or family’s needs.

  SUNO Turns To Other Universities For Help

“We don’t start with the assumption that you have bad credit [thus you don’t qualify], if so [we are excluding] everyone. [Bad credit] happens to good people,” Johnson said.

The services provided include Stafford, Parent PLUS, private and federal consolidation loans. Those who consistently pay on time qualify for an interest rate reduction.

The Urban Ed Express is affiliated with Urban Trust Bank, which is owned by an investor group led by Johnson. RLJ Companies, also founded by Johnson, “provides strategic investment and direction in and for a diverse portfolio of companies in the financial services, real estate, hospitality/restaurant, professional sports,” according to the company’s Web site.

Gordon said parents and students must research the college loan process because choosing a loan provider is far more complex than picking a company because they are minority friendly.

“You have to do you homework as a consumer and give it a good hard look before picking a company.”

Dr. Edward Wright, dean of student services at Laney College, in Oakland, Calif., says although the conference was the first time he heard about the loan company, he is intrigued by Johnson and the quality of the service and will share the information at the college.

–Margaret Kamara

There are currently 0 comments on this story.
Click here
to post a comment.



© Copyright 2005 by DiverseEducation.com

RELATED ARTICLES >>
Education Secretary DeVos Praises Senate Action on FAFSA Legislation U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has praised a Senate committee for moving forward with legislation to simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Education Secretary Betsy DeVos DeVos’ praise followed a hearing Tuesday ...
New Report Offers Best Financial Practices for Colleges’ Roles in Student Success College affordability and a clear understanding of financial aid are among the biggest challenges low-income students pursuing a higher education face. Education experts say that colleges and universities can play a larger role in increasing student ...
Professor Apologizes for Fiery Response to Muslim Student CINCINNATI — A University of Cincinnati music teacher has apologized for his fiery online responses to a Muslim student who was critical of Donald Trump’s presidency and talked about celebrating freedom and diversity. College-Conservatory of Music...
Colleges Wrestle with Issue of Using Students’ Fees for Controversial Speakers Katherine Kerwin didn’t like to see a portion of the student fees she pays being spent to bring conservative speaker Ben Shapiro to the University of Wisconsin. Kerwin didn’t agree with Shapiro’s criticism of what he said were attempts to chill fr...
Semantic Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *