The global health crisis has exacerbated financial woes for many individuals and Delaware State University is on a mission to ensure the school’s recent graduates aren’t burdened by the weight of debt. According to People, the Dover-based HBCU recently announced it would eliminate the student loan debt for students who were significantly impacted by the pandemic.
DSU will cancel over $700,000 in student loans for over 220 students through the American Rescue Plan Act that was enacted by President Joe Biden and his administration. Under the $1.9 trillion plan, funds were allotted for student debt cancellation, grants and scholarships. DSU’s Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Management Antonio Boyle says the cancellation of the student loan debt will be instrumental in helping recent graduates cultivate a solid foundation for financial success. “While we know our efforts won’t help with all of their obligations, we all felt it was essential to do our part,” he said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “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.” Tony Allen, who serves as DSU’s president, says the effort will help the recent graduates “change the economic trajectory of their lives for themselves, their families, and their communities.”
Efforts like the one being led by Delaware State University are needed as disparities surrounding student loan debt for students who attend historically Black colleges and universities persist. According to the United Negro College Fund, students who attend HBCUs borrow student loans at higher rates than their peers at non-HBCUs. Further research revealed HBCUs enroll a greater share of low-income students who have higher levels of unmet financial needs.