Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University (CAU) announced that they are clearing outstanding student balances from the 2020-2021 academic year.
Spelman also added a 14% discount of tuition and fees and reset tuition and mandatory fee rates back to 2017-2018 rates for the academic year 2021-2022.
“This reset to the lower tuition rates of four years ago will have a long-term impact on affordability,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman, said in a statement.
The move was made possible by federal funds the college received.
“Spelman’s in-depth study into the financial aid needs of our students several years ago reinforced our understanding of one of this country’s fundamental inequities: high performing, high need students are drastically underfunded,” said Dr. Campbell. “If 2020 taught us anything, it is that racial fault lines continue to make the lives of African Americans quantitatively harder than those of non-Black Americans.”
“Despite the financial hurdles, our academic outcomes are impressive. Half of the students Spelman serves are PELL eligible, that is low to moderate income, which makes our six-year graduation rate of 75 percent, 30 percentage points above the national average, a standout,” said Dr. Campbell.
CAU President George T. French Jr. wrote in a letter to students that the decision was to thank them for continuing their education during the pandemic.
“The past two academic years have been emotionally and financially challenging for you and your families due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” French wrote. “I understand. That is why I am personally thankful for your resilience, perseverance, and ‘find a way or make one’ attitudes.”