In a joyful surprise to students, Delaware State University announced it is canceling more than $700,000 of student debt for recent graduates who faced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Management, Antonio Boyle, said that the average eligible student will qualify for approximately $3,276 in student debt forgiveness—which amounts to roughly a third of a year’s tuition at the state’s only public HBCU (Historically Black College/University).
The university’s actions now pave the way for 220 graduates in the Class of 2021 from being delayed in having their degrees conferred, which is normally barred to students who still owe the university outstanding tuition.
Mr. Boyle said in a statement, “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.”
Thanks to a generous appropriation from the Delaware state legislature, made possible by federal funds through the Cares Act, Delaware State University is helping ease the financial burden on many new graduates.
University President Tony Allen explained, “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. Our responsibility is to do everything we can to put them on the path.”
Last year, US News &. World Report listed Delaware State University among the top 1% of colleges and universities in the United States for Social Mobility, which is defined as “enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students.”
Source: People Magazine