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Historic Black Church Donates $100,000 To Pay Off Debts Of Howard U. Students

Alfred Street Baptist Church made a $100,000 gift  to Howard University that day, paying the debts of 34 students who owed sums ranging from $100 to more than $3,000.

Alfred Street had raised the money via a church-wide fast during the month of January, during which parishioners committed to doing without certain things, from not consuming sweets or alcohol to abstaining from social media. They were also asked to undertake a “financial fast,” and eliminate spending on non-essential items.

That notion — that money spent helping students to cover small financial shortfalls is well spent — is starting to is gain attention.

Georgia State University, in Atlanta, has launched a program that provides “micro grants” to students facing modest financial difficulties that could cause them to drop out. The university, where 72 percent of bachelor’s degree-seeking students have some level of unmet need, now provides grants as small as $300 to keep students on their path to graduation. It says that 86 percent of students who receive these small grants have gone on to graduate.