ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WIS) – In his first major board decision, Acting South Carolina State President Alexander Conyers announced Thursday that the university will settle the balances of more than 2,500 ongoing students.
The move will provide much-needed relief to students previously unable to return to college due to financial difficulties caused primarily by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are committed to providing a clear path for these students to continue their college education and graduate without the burden of financial debt due to circumstances beyond their control,” said Conyers. “Our university was founded on the principle of providing students with access to quality, affordable education. That is exactly what we intend to do. No student should have to sit at home because they cannot afford to pay their overdue debts after experiencing the financial devastation of a global pandemic. “
The vast majority of students scheduled to receive a grant from Thursday continue to be students pending enrollment due to overdue bank balances and students who dropped out of college entirely because they and their families could not make the payment.
“Honestly, the news brings tears to my eyes,” said Leslie Young, a freshman from Santee who had to skip the spring semester because she didn’t have the money to pay her tuition fees. “My family has a very low income. I was in a deep depression because school means everything to me. Without her, I felt like I was giving up on my dreams. “
“It’s a tremendous weight that I don’t have to carry,” said Romaun Myers, a junior from Summerville. “I’m a first generation college student, one of the few boys in my mother’s family. I have to do it so that I can take care of my family. “
“This is really a great blessing,” said Kevyn Rice, a junior from Spartanburg. “This gives the students a new chance in life and a successful education. It adds a certain stability and lets me know that I am welcome at our HBCU. I am very honored to be an SCSU student. “
SC State spends approximately $ 9.8 million in federal government aid. About $ 4 million is Cares Act funding. Another $ 5.8 recently awarded to the university is funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
Student leaders believe this financial support will give students a benefit and remove the fear many families have experienced since the pandemic broke out.
“This news means so much to our student body and their families,” said Javonni Ayers, president of the SC State Student Government Association. “We are grateful that our administration has chosen to put our students’ concerns first and to relieve the stress and strain most families have experienced during this pandemic. We’re giving our students one more opportunity to pursue and make their dreams come true, and that’s what we call Bulldog Tenacity. “
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