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University Cancels $700,000 in Debt for Graduates Hit By Pandemic

Officials at Delaware State University are writing off up to $ 730,655 in student debt for recent graduates who have faced financial difficulties during the pandemic.

Antonio Boyle, Vice President of Strategic Enrollment Management, estimated that the average eligible student will qualify for approximately $ 3,276 in debt relief, or approximately one-third of a year’s tuition. This will help more than 220 graduates, eliminating any delay in receiving diplomas.

“Too many graduates across the country will leave their schools burdened with debt, making it difficult for them to rent an apartment, cover moving costs, or prepare for their new careers or graduate studies. While we know that our efforts will not help with all of his obligations, we all felt it was essential to do our part, ”said Mr. Boyle. said in a statement.

The funds needed to pay off the debt of these students were made available through the federal government’s American Rescue Plan for COVID-19 relief.

University President Tony Allen explained the importance of debt relief action, saying, “Our students don’t come here simply to have a quality college experience. Most are trying to change the economic trajectory of their lives for themselves, their families and their communities. Our responsibility is to do everything possible to put them on the road ”.

Dr. Allen noted that such debt reduction is consistent with Delaware State University’s initiatives to keep student debt manageable. “We have not increased our enrollment in over six years; we give each incoming student an iPad or MacBook; we are replacing traditional textbooks with less expensive digital editions, and our Early College high school saves the average family nearly $ 50,000 in college expenses. “

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Last year, the annual US News &. The World Report’s assessment of America’s Best Universities lists Delaware State University in the top 1% for social mobility, which is defined as “enrolling and graduating a large proportion of disadvantaged students.”

Dr. Allen says he is also optimistic about Senate Bill 95, which would expand the University INSPIRE scholarship from half tuition over four years to full tuition for eligible Delaware students. Earlier this month, the legislation, sponsored by Senator Trey Paradee, passed unanimously in the Senate, 21-0.

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“Big universities have to go a step beyond the ordinary,” said Dr. Devona Williams, president of the University Board of Trustees. “This is that kind of moment for us.”

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