With assistance from the CARES Act, students who took classes during the 2020 winter semester and spring/summer 2021 at Virginia Union and Virginia State universities can look forward to having their outstanding student debt forgiven.
Virginia State University, which will use CARES Act funding to only clear unpaid VSU tuition and fee balances for students who were enrolled during the COVID-19 impact period, will clear the balances after federal, state, and private awards are applied.
“We care about our students and their academic success and want to provide them the privilege of moving forward with a zero balance,” Donald Palm, VSU provost and senior vice president of academic and student affairs, said in a news release. “We believe that relieving them from these balances will provide much-needed relief that will allow our scholars to focus more intently on their academics and degree completion.
Meanwhile, Virginia Union University announced earlier that it was awarding more than $6.35 million to eliminate debt for 1,344 students — 1,192 undergraduates and 152 graduate students. All graduating seniors finished with zero university debt, and continuing students had their balances fully paid, the Times Dispatch reported.
All totaled, the Class of 2021 was awarded $1.2 million; other underclassman students were awarded $4.3 million; and graduate students were awarded $778,54.
“VUU is committed to helping students ease the worry of financial debt due to education loans,” Hakim Lucas, VUU president and CEO, said in a separate news release. “These funds helped to reduce the cost of their education, which results in fewer federal and consumer loan applications and less debt.”

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