Berkeley universities

Students learn after graduating that Snapchat founder paid off college debt with over $10 million

Otis College of Art and Design

Graduating arts school graduates in Los Angeles were overwhelmed with joy when, about to take the march in cap and gown, they heard they would be receiving more than just a degree.

The class of 284 students at the Otis College of Art and Design would have all of their student debt repaid by the university’s most successful alumnus, Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel.

Totaling an undisclosed record donation of more than $10 million, Spiegel’s donation was added by Kora Beauty founder Miranda Kerr, wife of Spiegel and partner of the Spiegel Family Fund.

“It changed my life and made me feel at home,” Spiegel, who took summer lessons at Otis in high school, told the graduating class. “I felt pushed and challenged growing up surrounded by super talented artists and designers, and we were all in this together.”

Since the federal government decided to start guaranteeing student loans in 1965 and universities realized that it was not an unemployed teenager who was paying for his education, but the entire American taxpayer base, the costs tuition far exceeded any other measure of inflation.

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Otis may cost $50,000 for a liberal arts degree, but some of the recipients of Spiegel’s bounty had raised $70,000 or more. With less-than-obvious career paths and the ongoing employment challenges of the pandemic, some seniors commented that it was a huge weight on their shoulders.

“Student debt weighs heavily on our diverse and talented graduates,” mentioned Charles Hirschhorn, president of the Otis College of Art and Design. “We hope this donation will bring them much-needed relief and enable them to pursue their aspirations and careers, to further this generosity, and to become the next leaders of our community.”

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“My mother was crying”, graduate Farhan Fallahifiroozi told the LA Times. “They were so worried about me. I had so much debt. If it’s all really gone, that gives me so much of a lead.

(LOOK when the students heard the news.)

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