Fayetteville State University (FSU) has used COVID-19 relief funding provided by the American Rescue Plan to clear the past-due university debt of all students who attended during the pandemic. FSU is one of a growing number of universities that have begun eliminating institutional debt for students. Here’s what to know about this week’s student loans news.
1 top student loans trend this week
1. Fayetteville State University clears student loan debt for thousands of students
Fayetteville State University (FSU), a historically Black university located in North Carolina, utilized over a million dollars in COVID-19 relief to forgive university student loan debt for students. Students are eligible for forgiveness if:
- They attended FSU between fall 2019 and spring 2021.
- They have overdue student loan debt.
As a result of this move, more than 1,400 students are expected to enter the fall semester debt-free.
FSU’s funding comes from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) — included in the American Rescue Plan — which was signed into law by the Biden administration in March of this year. This grant provided colleges and secondary education institutions $39.6 billion in coronavirus aid with the intention to help students who are financially struggling.
How this affects student loans
FSU is one of many institutions who have used HEERF III funds to forgive the student loan debt of their students; Wilberforce University and Delaware State University are two other recent examples. With the additional funds from HEERF III, more universities could follow suit. In all of these cases, the forgiven debt is exclusively debt owed to the university itself — not to the federal government or private lenders.
Here’s how you can get prepared
Whether you’re new to student loans or well into repayment, it’s wise to stay informed about how your student loan rates could change. As 2021 continues, more opportunities for cheaper loans or loan forgiveness could open up; keep an eye on the Bankrate student loans news hub for the latest trends.