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HBCUs Clear Student Debt and Dining Room Balances Using Federal Funds

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Many people have seen their finances suffer tremendously over the past year and a half due to the global pandemic, and it goes without saying that students have had additional hardships facing massive disruptions in their academic plans while being required to cover the invoice. or take out loans for their studies.

Many HBCUs across the country have greatly understood the plight of their students and have therefore committed to using a combination of federal funds and private donations to completely eliminate debt and reshape the whole university experience.

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More than 20 historically black colleges and universities – that number is expected to increase – would join the big gesture, including Wilberforce University in Ohio, Hampton University in Virginia, Grambling State University in Louisiana and the beloved Clark Atlanta. The latter academic institution was one of the first HBCUs to use federal pandemic relief assistance to financially free some students from their unpaid balances, which also includes all past bills in dining halls and residences. . “We’re pledging $ 5 million to help nearly 2,000 students settle their account balances,” said Clark Atlanta president George T. French Jr., who also added: financial involvement posture to ensure that we reduce our student debt, so that they can enroll and graduate.

Find out how it was all made possible, via CNBC:

“During the pandemic, federal stimulus funds enabled the United States Department of Education to make significant investments in underfunded colleges and universities through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, including more $ 2.6 billion for HBCUs.

Autymn Epps, a 20-year-old Clark Atlanta junior specializing in business administration, said she and her undergraduate fellows were stunned to learn that the school had cleared their outstanding student balances with money from the federal stimulus.

“When I found out, I was speechless,” said Epps, who is also president of the student government. “We were all surprised. We were like, ‘Is this real? Is this happening?’ We were all talking about how it was such a blessing.

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As mentioned earlier, private loans have also played an important role in student debt relief. Some of you may remember the $ 2.7 billion monetary pledge made to 286 “high impact” organizations by philanthropist MacKenzie Scott earlier this year, with Clark Atlanta alone receiving $ 15 million. dollars from these funds. Another million dollars was given to the university as a gift by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, led by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan.

As we look to the future to right some of the wrongs in our history in other areas of society, it is amazing to see the higher education system doing more than an opportunity for black students to flourish. without worrying too much about their financial problems. Hopefully more universities follow suit!

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