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Evan Spiegel & Miranda Kerr Changed 285 Students’ Lives by Paying Off Their College Debt at Graduation

Kora Organics CEO Miranda Kerr and her husband, Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel, decided to make graduation day extra special for seniors at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. Their charitable act was not only a generous one, but it changed the financial outlook of 285 graduating students in an instant — the couple is paying off the student loans of the entire 2022 class.

The news was announced at the graduation ceremony, and it was Spiegel who felt compelled to donate since he was once an Otis art student himself. “It changed my life and made me feel at home,” Spiegel told the Class of 2022 about the summer he took classes there. “I felt pushed and challenged to grow surrounded by super talented artists and designers, and we were all in it together.”

In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, the duo talked about the “privilege” to “give back and support the Class of 2022″ because they want to encourage a generation of artists who don’t have to worry about college loans looming over their heads for decades to come — they can focus on their craft instead. “We hope this gift will empower graduates to pursue their passions, contribute to the world, and inspire humanity for years to come,” the statement reads. While the amount of Kerr and Spiegel’s gift was not disclosed, the donation beats out the college’s largest amount to date, which was formerly $10 million.

That astonishing number of only 285 students is a sobering fact of how expensive college tuition is and how pursuing higher education is out of reach for many families without taking on the burden of debt. According to Lending Tree, “Americans owe nearly $1.75 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 46 million borrowers.” It’s why student-loan forgiveness is a hot topic during each presidential election cycle, but it is a promise that has yet to be delivered on by President Joe Biden’s administration (though he’s currently pushing for a reported $10,000 in relief). For now, students will have to face the financial burden as they start their careers — except for the Otis College of Art and Design Class of 2022, who suddenly find themselves debt-free.

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