As conferred by sources including Inc.com and Essence Magazine, Black women are the most institutionally-educated demographic in the U.S., pursuing advanced and terminal degrees at higher rates as a means for achieving new levels of success and ideally, opening more financial and professional doors.
However, because many Black women do not come from high levels of generational family wealth to lean on for funding their education, these pursuits leave them with staggering piles of student debt—a problem substantially furthered as they progress into the workplace thanks to a pay gap of 63 cents on every dollar earned by their white male peers.
Oftentimes, many Black women find themselves pursuing increasingly more advanced credentials as a way to assuage this deficit, only to continue to have their efforts undercut by disparity in being passed over for more lucrative, secure job opportunities and promotions due to widespread racial and gender biases, leaving them with both more debt (an estimated $35B to be more specific) and lower incomes than their colleagues of other racial and gender backgrounds.
Moreover, Black women suffer the most from lack of access to financial education, as substantiated by a 35% average financial literacy rate, a statistic derived from the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC.)
Outlined above is the circular reinforcement of the racial wealth gap, which for far too long has limited the freedom of Black women and held them back from achieving their dreams and reaching their full potential.
That’s why The Prosp(a)rity Project has assembled the 35*2 Free Initiative as a first-of-its-kind solution that resolves the aforementioned pain points of burdensome student debt, low financial literacy rates and barriers to increased earnings.
Through this program, The Prosp(a)rity Project is serving Black women known as Prosparettes by helping them achieve freedom from these obstacles so that they can go on to lead their most successful lives and in turn, pay their newfound advantages forward through a more virtuous cycle of generational generosity.
A successful applicant fits the following profile:
- Black woman
- Reside permanently within the U.S.
- Bachelor’s degree completed at minimum
- A graduate of at least one accredited predominantly white U.S. college or university
- Between the ages of 25-35
- Has at least two years full employment following college
- Has at least two full years of student debt repayment history
- Owes at least $40K in student loan debt
- Earns an annual income of less than $80-$100K (salary cap prorated based on city of residence)
- Demonstrates a strong motivation to improve their financial situation
- Has a strong interest in paying it forward to help the next generation
- Seeking more career satisfaction and fulfillment