NASHVILLE, Tennessee. – A university in Tennessee announced this week that it will pay off returning student account balances in an effort to give them more time to study “and less time to worry about finances.”
Tennessee State University, a historically black public university in Nashville, said Wednesday that it forgives the account balances of returning students who were enrolled in spring 2020, fall 2020 and spring 2021. It will also cover the summer 2020 and 2021.
“We are fully aware that the main reason students do not return to university is lack of funds,” TSU President Glenda Glover said in a statement. “Paying off our students’ account balances will relieve some of the financial stress they have and allow them to focus on their education and graduation. “
The university said the debt was covered by the federal CARES law, which was passed by Congress at the start of the pandemic in 2020. Earlier this year, additional funds were provided to educational institutions, said school officials.
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In May 2020, the university also used federal funding to help students and meet institutional needs due to the ongoing pandemic.
Nashville graduate student Kiaya Caine said she was grateful for the win, which will allow her to pursue her masters in sports psychology.
“I wasn’t actually going to get my masters, but now I’m grateful for the opportunity,” Caine said in a press release. “This initiative will help a lot of students.
FILE – An American flag flies above a building as graduate students participate in the graduation ceremony in a file image taken June 14, 2019 in Pasadena, California. (Photo credit: ROBYN BECK / AFP via Getty Images)
TSU was founded in 1912. Its main campus is located near the Cumberland River, approximately 10 minutes northwest of downtown Nashville.
Full-time tuition for the state’s undergraduate students starts at around $ 4,000 per semester, according to its website.
The university has said it will resume full operations in fall 2021 and also expects its largest freshman class in five years. Freshmen are expected to move in starting August 10.
Wilberforce University, the nation’s oldest historically black private university located in Ohio, also announced in June that 2020 and 2021 graduate debt and other fines and fees owed to the university had been settled.
This story was reported from Cincinnati.