American Baptist College, famous archway. Rev. John Lewis came to ABC as a 17-year-old youth from Troy Alabama. Lewis graduated in 1961.

NASHVILLE, TN — In an effort to reduce the financial and emotional stress the COVID-19 virus has caused for students enrolled during the pandemic, American Baptist College has cleared the balances of students who attended the College in Spring 2020 or Fall 2020 or Spring 2021.

“Clearing the balances for these students is one way that we can further assist them in light of the disruption they have experienced during their matriculation and indeed to their lives.  It is our hope that they will now be able to more purposefully focus on their academics,” said Richard Jackson, executive vice president. The college is using a portion of the institutional funds it received from the federal government through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund  to  provide this assistance to its students.

American Baptist College has been regularly reviewing how COVID-19 funds can be used to provide financial assistance to its students throughout the pandemic.  

“We want our students to focus on their academic growth and strive to become leaders, following in the footsteps of alumni such as Rep. John Lewis and Rev. C. T. Vivian, as well as more recent alumni like Tremaine Sells, Temeka Robinson, and Rahim Buford,” said Dr. Forrest Harris, president of American Baptist College.  “Just this week, Brittany Fitzgerald-Hill was selected as a White House Initiative on Historically Black College Scholar, which continues the rich legacy of American Baptist College students being recognized for their accomplishments and leadership potential,” added President Harris.

Even in the midst of the challenges of the current health, social justice, and financial crises, American Baptist College students are committed to doing their part to persist to complete their higher education goals.  “Many of our students must work full-time while enrolled in school and that stresses them academically, financially and personally.”  Approximately 70 percent of American Baptist College students receive Pell Grants and student loans.  “The eradication of their account balances will provide a great relief,” said Jackson.  

“We applaud the opportunity to assist our students financially, so their focus can be on their academic pursuits,” said Phyllis Hildreth, vice president of Institutional Strategy and Academics. 

“American Baptist College will be celebrating its centennial anniversary in 2024, we want our graduates to continue to make a strong impact in their career choices as they go into the world to be agents of social change, and we are happy to ‘clear the path’ for them to achieve that goal whenever we can,” said the President.