South Carolina State and Clark Atlanta University have both announced that they are canceling student account balances during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Thursday (July 22), South Carolina State stated that "settling past due account balances allows students facing financial challenges to continue their education "
According to a press release, the move is the first major executive decision by SCSU’s acting president Alexander Conyers and will affect more than 2,500 continuing students.
“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 said in the release. “Our university was founded on the tenet of providing students with access to a quality affordable education. That’s exactly what we intend to do. No student should have to sit home because they can’t afford to pay their past due debt after having experienced the financial devastation caused by a global pandemic.”
A day later, on Friday, Clark Atlanta announced it will cancel and clear student account balances during the COVID-19 pandemic, from spring 2020 to summer 2021.
“This initiative will have no impact on the students' future financial aid eligibility because of this one-time outstanding balance cancellation,” a statement from the HBCU said.
CAU was able to provide this financial relief through a substantial amount of support from the federal government under the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.
"We understand these past two academic years have been emotionally and financially difficult on students and their families due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why we will continue to do all we can to support their efforts to complete their CAU education," said President George T. French Jr. French.
He continued: "Their academic and professional future is important to me and the entire Clark Atlanta University family. We care about students and want to lighten their individual and family's financial load so they can continue their journey in pursuing and attaining their educational and professional goals."