Student loan debt and managing repayment after graduation is a major burden for many new college graduates and professionals already in their careers. It is a topic of national concern and impacts career choices, college completion rates, family economic health and America’s global competitiveness. In an effort to bring more awareness to the issue and to help create solutions, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund has created and launched the #intheblack campaign.

The goal of the #intheblack campaign is to raise awareness about student loan repayment options. The campaign particularly targets students attending HBCUs and/or come from under-resourced backgrounds, especially soon to be college graduates and young professionals. The aim is to help soon-to-be college graduates and young professionals do two things: 1) understand the various student loan repayment options available, and 2) select the best repayment option to quickly get out of debt and #intheblack.

TMCF wants to see more HBCU graduates get #intheblack as it relates to their financial futures. For many students, a high student loan bill is a monthly reality. We hope HBCU students and parents use this website as a resource to learn more about student loan repayment options.

A March 2016 study published in the journal Race and Social Problems cites that African-American young adults have, on average, 68.2% more student loan debt than their white counterparts. With college costs continuing to skyrocket, student loan debt has become an urgent challenge.

With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, HCM Strategists launched the Federal Financial Aid Advocacy Fund to support innovative, timely advocacy activities that engage new stakeholders and partners in federal policymaking for financial aid. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund is a recipient of a Federal Financial Aid Advocacy grant.

Get #intheblack

Incoming HBCU Students & Parents
Plan to stay #intheblack

  • Do your student loan homework! Find out the real costs of going to a public versus private school, an HBCU versus non-HBCU, and the difference between attending an in-state school versus going out of state for college. Be strategic about one of the most important and life-changing decisions you will make. The more you plan ahead of time, the more you can prepare to stay #intheblack.
    • You have many options when it comes to paying for your college education.  There are literally thousands of scholarships and grants that are available to make college more affordable. Do not assume you will not qualify. Do your research and apply to multiple scholarships. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund is a great source for scholarships for students interested in attending an HBCU.

Current HBCU Students
Try to be #intheblack

    • It is not too late to be #intheblack while in school. If you have a work-study, or off-campus job, try to put some money aside each month to pay off your student loan debt.
    • Continue to seek scholarships throughout your college career to help minimize overall education costs and student loan debt upon graduation.

Recent HBCU Graduates
Work to get #intheblack

    • You have just graduated from school and now it is time to pay off your student loans quickly and responsibly so you can get #intheblack Make regular, timely payments so that you are not delinquent and maintain a high credit score. There are several student loan repayment options available to you. Some options actually allow for total student loan forgiveness if you work in certain sectors.
    • Today, many companies are becoming creative in their employee benefit packages. Investing in a 401K is not the only way you can save for your future. When negotiating salary and benefits, inquire about a tuition reimbursement program (if you want to go back to school) or if there is a student loan reimbursement program so you can quickly get #intheblack.
    • Having a savings account is smart and shows you are thinking about your financial future. However, debt cancels out your actual amount of savings. The best thing to do is to apply as much extra money as possible to your student loans so that you can pay down the principal balance, not accrue more interest payments and get #intheblack.