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DSU cancels $730K in student debt with stimulus funds

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Delaware State University (DSU) officials announced Wednesday that it will use federal stimulus funds to cancel up to $730,655 in student debt for about 200 recently graduated students. | PHOTO COURTESY OF DSU

DOVER – Delaware State University (DSU) officials announced Wednesday that it will use federal stimulus funds to cancel up to $730,655 in student debt for about 200 recently graduated students who have faced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Antonio Boyle, vice president for strategic enrollment management, estimated that the average eligible student will qualify for about $3,276 in debt relief.

“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. While we know our efforts won’t help with all of their obligations, we all felt it was essential to do our part,” Boyle said in a statement announcing the move.

Boyle also noted that 87% of Delaware State University graduates are either entering their career of choice or graduate school within six months of commencement, higher than the national average.

University President Tony Allen explained the significance of debt relief action, saying, “Our students don’t just come here for a quality college experience. Most are trying to change the economic trajectory of their lives for themselves, their families, and their communities. Our responsibility is to do everything we can to put them on the path.”

Allen noted that such debt reduction is consistent with Delaware State’s initiatives to keep student debt manageable.

“We haven’t raised our tuition in over six years; we issue every incoming student an iPad or a MacBook; we are replacing traditional textbooks with less expensive digital editions, and our Early College High School saves the average family of nearly $50,000 in college expenses,” he said.

Last year, the annual U.S. News & World Report assessment of America’s top colleges lists Delaware State University among the top 1% in social mobility, which is defined as “enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students.”

Allen says he is also optimistic about Senate Bill 95, which would extend the university’s INSPIRE scholarship from half the tuition for four years to full tuition for eligible Delaware students. Earlier this month the legislation, sponsored by Sen. Trey Paradee (D-Dover), passed the Senate unanimously.

“Great universities have to go a step beyond ordinary,” said Dr. Devona Williams, chair of the university’s board of trustees. “This is that kind of moment for us.”

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  1. Avatar photo
    Nichol A Thomson May 13, 2021

    I am all for someone trying to better themselves through education. This article implied $$ would go to students who are struggling with financing. This is good to hear a selection process was instituted and $$ were not just handed out to the general population at DSU.

    Is anyone aware there exists Caucasian, Asian and various other groups that are equally struggling with finances? Among these groups are young people who never entertained being racist. Why are they left behind? This type of inequality from our government only creates resentment and therefore ill feelings toward those that were singled out for special treatment.

    A uniting of peoples will never be achieved through such specialized treatment.

    1. Avatar photo
      ProudDSUparent June 24, 2021

      Your comment is very ignorant at best. I don’t understand why is that when a program is implemented or enhanced to serve and help the SEVERLY disadvantaged African American community it leans on the ear of being racist? DSU is NOT just comprised of just African Americans-there is an immensely diverse population of students that attend DSU that will benefit from this scholarship enhancement and relief of this student loan debt. Please do your research before posting such ignorant and clearly tone deaf comments


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