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COVID-19 hit the world hard, and Delaware State University has announced that it will cancel up to $730,655 in student debt for recently graduated students faced with financial hardships during the pandemic.

Antonio Boyle, vice president for strategic enrollment management at the historically Black university in Dover, Delaware, estimated that the average eligible student will qualify for about $3,276 in debt relief. More than 200 of Delaware State University’s graduates were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

The funds will come from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for COVID-19 relief, sent by the Biden administration.

“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,” DSU President Tony Allen added in the statement.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona issued guidance in March allowing colleges and universities to use funds from President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan for a variety of student needs, including grants and scholarships. Cardona hopes the funds will keep people on their educational paths.

“Many students have had their postsecondary careers turned upside down as they manage their schoolwork while also protecting themselves from this virus,” Cardona said in a statement. “We hope every eligible student takes advantage of these benefits while continuing to focus on their studies.”


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