For the second straight year, Fayetteville State University has used pandemic relief funding to clear $1.6 million in student debt.
The funding cleared the debt for 1,178 students who were enrolled from summer 2021 through spring 2022, the university said in a release. The action allows “them to return to school this fall without worrying about additional debt,’’ the release said.
Overall, Fayetteville State has cleared more than $3.2 million in debt for nearly 2,400 students over the past two years using pandemic relief funding, the release said.
FSU used money from The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III, which was part of the American Rescue Plan signed into law in March 2021, the university said.
“Financial barriers are the No. 1 obstacle our students must overcome to achieve their dream of earning a college degree,” Chancellor Darrell T. Allison said in the release. “We will do all we can to help keep costs down for our students making their path to a degree more accessible. Assisting in our students’ financial independence in such a tangible and meaningful way is not only rewarding, but also the right thing to do.”
FSU, an NC Promise school, is also lowering tuition for in-state and out-of-state students. Starting this fall, tuition will be reduced to $500 per semester for in-state students and $2,500 for out-of-state students.
“That translates to a savings of nearly $2,000 for in-state students and nearly $10,000 for out-of-state students in tuition alone for the academic year,’’ the university said in the release.
Tuition will be free for qualified military-connected students, including veterans, active duty, spouses and dependents, the release said.
“Access and affordability are crucial to student success and rank among FSU’s top priorities,” Jennifer K. Addison, controller in the FSU Office of Business and Finance, said in the release. “Our ability to resolve these past balances is a game-changer for our students — leveraging this funding to meet their needs is a major step towards ensuring our students continue their education and graduate.”