Delaware State University will cancel more than $730,000 in student debt for recent grads who have experienced financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The historically Black university made the announcement Wednesday in a press release, with Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Management Antonio Boyle estimating that the average student will qualify for about $3,276 in debt relief. The funds to cover the debt relief come from the federal American Rescue Plan.
“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 in a statement.
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The school, founded in 1891 as the State College for Colored Students, has an enrollment of a little more than 5,000 students, 63% of whom are African American, according to the university. Last year, in the midst of the pandemic, around 190 students graduated from the institution.
“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,” President Tony Allen said. “Our responsibility is to do everything we can to put them on the path.”