Otis College of Art and Design

Graduating seniors at an LA arts school were overwhelmed with joy when, getting ready to make the walk in cap and gown, they heard they would be receiving more than just a diploma.

The 284-strong Class of 2022 from Otis College of Art and Design would have their entire student loan debt paid off by the college’s most successful alumni, Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel.

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

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

Ever since the federal government decided to start guaranteeing student loans in 1965, and universities realized that it wasn’t an unemployed teenager paying for their education but the entire United States taxpayer base, tuition costs have far outpaced any other metric of inflation.

MORE: Zimbabwe Youth at Berkeley Creates Free Online Coding Classes to Help Others Get Similar Scholarships

Otis can cost $50,000 for a liberal arts degree, but some of the recipients of Spiegel’s generosity had wracked up $70,000 or more. With less-than-obvious career paths and the lingering employment difficulties of the pandemic, some seniors remarked it was a huge weight off their shoulders.

“Student debt weighs heavily on our diverse and talented graduates,” said Charles Hirschhorn, President of Otis College of Art and Design. “We hope this donation will provide much-deserved relief and empower them to pursue their aspirations and careers, pay this generosity forward, and become the next leaders of our community.”

RELATED: Walmart Announces Plan to Pay 100% of College Tuition Plus Books For Its Workers

“My mom was crying,” graduate Farhan Fallahifiroozi told the LA Times. “They were so worried about it for me. I had so much debt. If it’s really all gone, it puts me so much ahead.”

(WATCH the moment the students found out the news.)

SHARE The Relief of These Students With Your Friends…


Leave a Reply