South Carolina State University announced last week that it is canceling $9.8 million in student loan debt for 2,500 students.
The move will provide much-needed relief to low-income students struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, acting President Alexander Conyers said.
“We are committed to providing these students with a clear path forward so they can continue their college education and graduate without the burden of financial debt caused by circumstances beyond their control,” Conyers stated.
The funds will apply to continuing students unable to return to college due to financial hardship. The waiver does not apply to students who have taken out loans from the federal government or private lenders.
The school will clear student account balances using federal money. Of the $9.8 million, $4 million will come from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (also known as the CARES Act) — a $2 trillion stimulus bill signed last year by former president Donald Trump to blunt the impact of an economic downturn. The remaining $5.8 million will come from the recently announced American Rescue Plan Act.
"SC State University students can worry less about money when they come back to school. Col. Alexander Conyers, the school's new acting president, decided to clear account balances for more than 2,500 students." https://t.co/y2pgUxCn9U
— SC State University (@SCSTATE1896) July 16, 2021
‘A Big Blessing’
Students and their families were overjoyed when news of the student debt forgiveness broke.
“Honestly, hearing this news brings tears to my eyes,” said freshman Leslie Young who had to sit out the spring semester because she could not pay her tuition. “My family is very low income. I was in a deep depression because school means everything to me. Without it, I felt like I was giving up on my dreams.”
Another junior from Spartanburg, Kevyn Rice, said, “This is really a big blessing,” adding how the school has given “students a new opportunity at life and at having a successful education.”
Student leaders also voiced their support, saying the latest move will alleviate the financial anxiety many students have experienced since the pandemic hit.