Morehouse College and Savannah State University have become the latest historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to clear student debt acquired since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020.
The funding comes directly from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, a federal government pledge of $35 billion to help financially struggling college students and schools.
Over half the student populations at Morehouse and Savannah State take out federal student loans. While Morehouse did not say how much it committed to pay off student balances, Savannah State revealed they paid the balances of 220 former students with just over $331,000.
“From the start of the pandemic, our faculty and staff have been focused on protecting students’ health and wellbeing,” said Dr. Kimberly Ballard-Washington, president of Savannah State University. “Now we have been able to provide this additional and much-needed support to students whose education was interrupted because of COVID-19.”
Other Georgia area HCBUs who have cleared coronavirus related debt include Clark Atlanta University, Fort Valley State University, and Spelman College.