Savannah State cancels debt for students impacted by COVID

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Savannah State University (SSU) is joining other historically Black colleges and universities in Georgia in canceling account balances for students impacted by the pandemic.

Last week, Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College and Fort Valley State University each announced plans to clear debts through the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

On Monday, SSU announced the federal funding program has allowed them to clear the balances of 220 students enrolled in spring 2020 through summer 2021 semesters.

Just over $331,000 has been erased.

“We are thrilled to provide this financial relief to our students,” stated President Kimberly Ballard-Washington. “From the start of the pandemic, our faculty and staff have been focused on protecting students’ health and wellbeing and worked to provide technical support that allowed them to continue their education virtually and in the classroom.

“Now we have been able to provide this additional and much-needed support to students whose education was interrupted because of COVID-19.”

HBCUs in the Carolinas, Florida and Ohio have also announced similar financial breaks made possible by CARES Act funding.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s senators say even more funding is on the way to HBCUs.

Democratic Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock on Monday announced millions more are headed to the institutions through the American Rescue Plan.

Of the $175 million secured, just over $24 million has been allotted for SSU.

“As an HBCU graduate, I am grateful to see additional funding flow to HBCUs in Georgia to help them continue opening doors of possibility and opportunity for the bright minds of the next generation,” said Warnock.

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