“Great universities have to go a step beyond ordinary,” said Dr. Devona Williams
Delaware State University announced that it’s forgiving more than $700,000 in student loans for their recent graduates who were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, the historically Black university announced that up to $730,655 in student loan debt will be forgiven for more than 220 students — with each receiving over $3,000.
Antonio Boyle, vice president for strategic enrollment management at Delaware State, noted that 87 percent of their graduates are entering the workforce or graduate school within six months of their commencement ceremony. Boyle said this effort is to help lighten their burdens.
“Too many graduates across the country will leave their schools burdened by debt, making it difficult for them to rent an apartment, cover moving costs, or otherwise prepare for their new careers or graduate school. While we know our efforts won’t help with all of their obligations, we all felt it was essential to do our part,” Boyle said.
The university credited the federal American Rescue Plan Act provided by the Biden-Harris administration for giving them the means to make this happen, PEOPLE reported.
Delaware State University President Tony Allen said that helping relieve students from debt will make a meaningful impact.
“Our students don’t just come here for a quality college experience. Most are trying to change the economic trajectory of their lives for themselves, their families, and their communities,” Allen said. “Our responsibility is to do everything we can to put them on the path.”
According to Forbes, an updated policy guidance was issued by U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona in March after the passing of the American Rescue Plan. In the updated policy, colleges and universities are allowed to use their stimulus funds to cancel student loan debt.
Dr. Devona Williams, the chair of the university’s board of trustees said: “Great universities have to go a step beyond ordinary. This is that kind of moment for us.”
Student loan debt has been a topic of conversation with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass) pushing President Joe Biden and his administration to consider canceling up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt.
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