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This program is paying off student loan debt

The United Negro College Fund is selecting alumni and soon current students to have some of their student loans wiped away.

WASHINGTON — When you're a twin, there's an expectation you'll spend a lot of time with your sibling. 

Twins, Imani and Cierra Graham, not only grew up together, went to the same college and both have degrees in Psychology, the two also carry about $50,000.00 in student loan debt. 

"It [student debt] kind of impacts my decisions," explained Cierra Graham standing next to her sister. "For example, just early adulthood with making a decision on purchasing a car, if I will be moving out purchasing a home." 

Adulthood decisions can be difficult when a good portion of your income is dedicated to making a student loan payment every month. 

RELATED: Should the United States wipe out all student debt?

"The fact that it takes 3 people to pay a student loan says a lot," explained Cierra noting that her mother also helps with their student loan payment.  

Credit: WUSA

They're hoping the United Negro College Fund will be able to provide some help. 

The organization provides scholarships and funding for 37 Historically Black Colleges and Universities better known as HBCU's.  

UNCF just closed the first round of it's "UNCF Wear your Crown with Confidence Loan Forgiveness Program." 

They're selecting alumni and soon current students to have some of their student loans wiped away. In some cases, they're canceling as much as $29,000.00 of student loan debt.  

RELATED: DC has the highest average student loan debt

Out of 6,000 applicants for the first round, only five will be selected. 

"I'm excited just to see someone else happy," said Kenya Gray, UNCF Senior Relationship Manager and a member of the selection committee.   

"This just raises the bar because now you're impacting day-to-day lives," Gray said.  

She adds that eliminating student loan debt can effectively raise the standard of living and tax bracket of recipients. 

RELATED: Trump signs student debt forgiveness for disabled veterans

The process, however, is rather competitive. The application process includes an essay, letter of recommendation and tax information. 

Several companies are helping to fund the program, but UNCF is hoping more companies sign on. 

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