Savannah State clears student debt from Spring 2020 through Summer 2021 semesters

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 5:08 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah State University has announced that student balances accrued from the Spring 2020 semester through the Summer 2021 semester will be cleared with federal funding from the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, according to a release sent on Monday.

Savannah State cleared the balances of 220 former students, totaling more than $331,000.

“We are thrilled to provide this financial relief to our students,” Savannah State President Kimberly Ballard-Washington said in a statement. “From the start of the pandemic, our faculty and staff have been focused on protecting students’ health and wellbeing and worked to provide technical support that allowed them to continue their education virtually and in the classroom. Now we have been able to provide this additional and much-needed support to students whose education was interrupted because of COVID-19.”

Students had to meet specific criteria to qualify, and the amounts varied with a grand total of $331,000 covered. The school is using a portion of their CARES Act Higher education emergency relief fund to do it.

They say these bills are not for housing or tuition, but rather debts incurred during the semester from parking to meal plans, financial aid reversals and more.

“They are the reason that we’re all here and so allowing them to have the funds to help them be able to be successful that’s the key. We’re here to educate students, but we need our students to be here and such small amounts often times keeps them from being able to re-enroll for future semesters so we want them to be able to keep going so that they can graduate and go off and just change the world,” Ballard-Washington said.

Savannah State has previously used federal funds from the CARES Act to “provide emergency financial aid grants to students” and reimburse students for housing and meals during the Spring 2020 semester, according to the release.

Copyright 2021 WTOC. All rights reserved.