Some much-needed financial relief is coming to Howard University students.
Spotted on The Grio, Howard University formally announced on Friday (Aug.27) that it would be clearing the unpaid balances for juniors and seniors who are currently feeling a financial strain due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The historic university’s decision adds it to the growing list of HBCU’s that have decided to help students financially and help them create equity by alleviating their debt which can be burdensome well after graduating.
According to HU’s president, Wayne A.I. Frederick, upperclassmen with an expected family contribution of $0 and an outstanding balance for the Spring 2021 semester will be eligible for financial relief.
In an email sent to students, Frederick wrote, “Howard University is committed to holistically supporting our students and removing barriers they may encounter on the road to graduation. During the course of the pandemic, we know that many students experienced unforeseen financial hardships that put their plans for pursuing higher education in jeopardy.”
He also detailed that the iconic institution has already distributed “over $27 million in direct cash payments, waived fees, emergency housing, and meal assistance” plus other services since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 to “ensure they could afford their education and living expenses.”
“I am pleased to announce that Howard is continuing these efforts by alleviating more student debt with the intent of increasing the chances for students to complete their degree programs,” he further added.
The funds are already being distributed to those students deemed eligible, with more assistance coming to those in desperate need of it. Students will see a credit to their accounts saying “HU COVID Need Support,” equal to the amount of their outstanding balance.
“I continue to be incredibly grateful for the support of the donors who have made this debt alleviation possible,” Frederick stated. “I am equally thankful for the perseverance exhibited by these and all students who have persisted in their educational journey despite difficult circumstances.”
Frederick concluded the email by commuting to assist students even if the university runs out of money by procuring money from other sources.
“Howard will always devote as much of our resources as we can to minimize the challenges our staff and students encounter,” he said. “And when we lack the resources to provide the level of assistance that we believe is necessary, we continue to identify and secure additional resources that can be used to provide direct support.”
As per CNN, Howard University joins a list of 20 HBCUs out of the 100 to offer financial relief to students. Hampton University, Grambling State University, Florida A&M University, Virginia State University, Clark Atlanta University, Virginia Union University, Saint Augustine’s Univ, Howard, and more are stepping up.
The funding for these debt relief initiatives was made possible by the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, signed into law by the Trump Administration in March 2020. Orange Mussolini and his inept administration managed to do some good things during his disastrous presidency.
We just need the rest of the HBCUs to step up and do the right thing.
Photo: The Washington Post / Getty