This is the best way to support students!
Virginia State University (VSU) is set to forgive the student account balances for those enrolled during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Grio reports.
The university recently announced that it would be forgiving balances for students enrolled during the pandemic, utilizing money received through the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act.
The act was passed in March 2020, allotting $2 trillion in stimulus funds for economic recovery resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly $31 billion of that money was designated for schools. Since then, VSU used the funding to improve air quality at the school, purchase necessary staff equipment, and give stipends to students in need when the school was shut down in March. The school will be clearing balances for any student who took classes from March 13, 2020, through the spring semester of 2021.
“We care about our students and their academic success and want to provide them the privilege of moving forward with a zero balance. We believe that relieving them from these balances will provide much-needed relief that will allow our scholars to focus more intently on their academics and degree completion,” Donald Palm, provost and senior vice president of academic and student affairs, said.
The HBCU will extend the forgiveness to all VSU balances after federal, state, and private awards are applied. Balance forgiveness does not include outside loans. VSU joins other HBCUs like Virginia Union, who have used CARES Act funds to forgive student debt, VUU announcing this past June that they would allot $6.3 million toward student debt forgiveness.
VSU student James Ricks said he is grateful that the school is paying it forward when students need it the most.
“We didn’t know how to react to [the pandemic], especially from a student standpoint. We’ve been in face-to-face classes our whole life, so for this pandemic to hit and change the whole narrative, the whole perspective of us being virtual, we didn’t know how to react...Our resources can be very scarce depending on where we’re from, of course...I consider this a reward and an acknowledgment...We pushed through it,” Ricks said.
We hope to see more schools follow suit. Go Trojans!
Photo Courtesy of Virginia State University