First Boulevard Launches Project Tassels to Support 1,000 Students at HBCUs Graduate

By Thomas Price Monday, March 29, 2021

Terrence J for First Boulevard.

As student debt becomes a larger problem for many young people, the need for both proper financial literacy and financial support continues to grow. This is especially true for students of color. However, many companies have been looking for ways to properly support these students who will soon be entering the workforce. Neobank First Boulevard recently launched Project Tassels to both provide financial literacy education to students attending historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) along with the necessary monetary support in order to graduate on time.

First Boulevard and Project Tassels

First Boulevard is a Black-owned neobank that offers an alternative experience to traditional banking companies exclusively online and on their app. While the company still offers several services that a normal bank would, such as automatic savings, early direct deposits, and peer-to-peer payment through their app, First Boulevard also works to support the Black community. In fact, one of the hallmark features First Boulevard offers is 15% cash back on all purchases made from Black-owned businesses.

First Boulevard is taking their efforts to uplift the Black community even further through the launch of Project Tassels. The business recently partnered with Academy Award winner Terrence J, who will be serving as a strategic business advisor on this endeavor. Project Tassels is a new effort from the company to support young Black students with the explicit purpose of helping 1,000 students graduate and receive proper financial education.

The company will be offering financial education to students through a series of videos that will cover topics like credit scores, student loans, credit cards, budgeting, and saving. These videos will be overseen by Terrence J and will be designed to be accessible to students at any level of financial literacy.

Adding to this will be direct financial support from First Boulevard. The banking business will help 1,000 students at HBCUs reclaim their so-called “stranded credits.” Stranded credits are classes that the student successfully took and passed but cannot claim due to unpaid balances to the university, thus, preventing them from graduating. First, Boulevard will help students in good academic standing by paying off their balances, allowing the credits to be claimed. This is part of an effort by the business to help support students so they can complete their education and assist the Black community in attaining more college degrees.

Long-term Impact of Project Tassels

While the project has just been launched by the business, no direct impact is known yet. However, the financial power of a college degree is well-known. In fact, those who have obtained a college degree will earn on average over $1 million more over their working lives than those who have not. If that figure is applied to the 1,000 students who otherwise would not graduate without support from the business, the financial impact could possibly account for billions of dollars of lifetime wealth.

When commenting on his partnership with the company and Project Tassels, Terrence J said, “I wasn't entirely knowledgeable about the importance of financial literacy while attending North Carolina A&T State University, or even at the beginning of my career. Had I known then what I know now about wealth building, I would've taken small steps to better manage my finances sooner. With Project Tassels, helping 1,000 students get the degree they've earned will add an additional $1B to circulate within the Black community. It's a great start, but to really change the game, I'm challenging other organizations to join us.”

About the Author


Headshot for author Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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