On Wednesday evening, UMBC grad Raymond Major walked into Central Scholarship’s annual awards ceremony owing $32,000 in student loans. He walked out owing $2,000. Congrats for winning the $30,000 Student Loan Pay-Down award, Raymond! Scroll to the 5 minute mark in the video to view Raymond’s reaction.
Interviewed last week by Jamie Costello of ABC 2 News, Raymond said, “We invest in education but I come out now making how much I owe. So I make about $30,000 a year, but I owe $32,000, so it’s kind of hard to pay off.” Raymond was ecstatic to hear his ticket number called knowing the grand prize wipes out nearly all of his student loans. He yelled in disbelief, jumped out of his seat and ran toward the stage to accept the award. Raymond spoke to the audience recalling the moment he moved on campus at UMBC. “I wasn’t supposed to be there,” he explained, and spoke about growing up in a single-mother household. “You just changed my life,” Raymond said to Ira Wagner, the man behind the award.
Raymond graduated from UMBC with a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems last year, and currently works at the Johns Hopkins I.T. help desk. He received the first ever Student Loan Pay Down award, but not the last. With the generosity of Central Scholarship board chair, Ira Wagner, and his wife, Marcia, we hope to make this award available to one student every year. Student loan debt is skyrocketing. Nearly 40 million students in the United States have borrowed $1.3 trillion dollars, and 7 in 10 graduating college seniors graduate with an average $30,000 in student loan debt. After Wednesday evening, there is one less student in Maryland battling student loan debt.