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Fort Valley State University wipes out $250K of student balances

200 students have been given a clean financial slate with the university

FORT VALLEY, Ga. — Fort Valley State University joins the list of HBCUs that have wiped student balances clean after spending $250,000 on the accounts of 200 students.

On Wednesday, some students checked their emails for updates on their balance with the university and saw words like 'removed,' 'clear,' and 'in good standing.'

Interim provost Olufunke Fontenot says it's real.

"Unpaid balances on their accounts are completely wiped out, and students can then start with the institution on a fresh slate," she said.

It's all part of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund that sent billions to the schools. By clearing debts that include tuition and fees, it allows students to re-enroll or receive their diplomas. 

Fort Valley State's $250,000 price tag covered individual debts that ranged from $1,100 to $5,000.

"We chose to use some of the funds to cancel out the debt of students who attended classes or were registered for classes since the beginning of the pandemic around March 2020," she said. 

Now that courses are set to resume in a few weeks, students have one less thing to worry about. 

If you're wondering if you'll be in the next pool of students to be cleared, Fontenot says she doesn't know about that just yet.

"I cannot say what the future holds. I think if there are funds to do that, then perhaps, but there is no promise," said Fontenot.

Students who were chosen had to be enrolled during the pandemic with an outstanding balance.

Other HBCUs that have eliminated student balances include: Clark Atlanta University, Spelman, Albany State, and South Carolina State.

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