Delaware State University announced plans to cancel more than $700,000 in student loans for recent graduates impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The HBCU will cancel $730,655, which will help more than 220 students.
“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,” DSU’s Vice President for strategic enrollment management, Antonio Boyle, said. “While we know our efforts won’t help with all of their obligations, we all felt it was essential to do our part.”
The good news comes on the heels of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona’s guidance in March, allowing colleges and universities to use funds from President Joe Biden’s stimulus plan for grants and scholarships and more.
“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.”
Federal student loan debt currently stands at $1.7 trillion in the U.S. The Education and Justice Departments are examining Biden’s authority to cancel federal debt. The Washington Post recently reported that his administration might be dropping his campaign pledge to forgive federal student loans.
Biden did use his executive authority to pause federal student loan payments. Donald Trump did the same when he was in office. The policy expires on Oct. 1, 2021.
Persis Yu, the National Consumer Law Center’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project director, is hopeful Biden will follow through on his pledge.
“Student loan borrowers are eager to see President Biden follow through on his campaign promise to provide widespread debt cancellation, especially as we are getting closer to the end of the payment suspension currently set for September 30. Biden has said that he is reviewing the legality of student debt cancellation,” said Yu via CNBC.
“We are confident that this review will reach the same conclusion that we have reached: that the President already has the authority to provide widespread student debt cancellation with the stroke of a pen.”