PROJECT 44 BILLION
Project 44 Billion is an initiative of CollegeWorks, The Financial Clinic’s virtual financial coaching service for college students. Project 44 Billion provides virtual financial coaching services to former and current students of Durham Technical Community College as they move through the various stages of loan origination and repayment. Project 44 Billion will also engage with community colleges and historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) across North Carolina to explore state-level solutions to the student loan crisis.
According to a recent study by the Center for Responsible Lending, over 1.2 million North Carolinians hold $44 billion in student loan debt. In particular, Black students show higher debt levels and lower completion rates than their White counterparts, putting them at greater risk of loan delinquency and default. A study by the Brookings Institute showed that Black graduates owe $7,400 more on average than their White peers immediately upon graduation – a gap that more than triples to $25,000 in the immediate years to follow. This volume of debt not only prevents borrowers – disproportionately Black borrowers – from building individual and household wealth; it also wreaks havoc on the state economy as a whole.
As part of Project 44 Billion, the Clinic has appointed a Virtual Student Loan Coach to provide specialized financial coaching services to students, with a focus on mitigating and managing student loan debt. This Coach will complement the college’s existing financial capability program, which launched with support from the Clinic in 2018. In addition, the Clinic will conduct outreach to former students whose loan payments may be delinquent or in default, offering support with more complex processes such as the execution of new repayment or forbearance plans.
If you are an incoming, active, or former Durham Tech student and would like to schedule a meeting with our Student Loan Coach, please do so using Calendly below.
Project 44 Billion is supported by grant funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Please click here to view the full press release.