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ECU to use emergency funds to clear student debt from 2020

July 1, 2021 GMT

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — East Carolina University is using a portion of the money it’s getting from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to wipe out nearly $1 million in student debt, the school announced.

Stephanie Coleman, interim vice chancellor for administration and finance, said in a news release on Wednesday that the debt forgiveness is intended to provide relief for students facing hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will affect about 625 students. The $960,000 will help pay outstanding student balances from summer and fall of 2020, the news release said.

ECU is expected to get $53.1 million in funding, and that includes $27.3 million for student aid and $25.8 million in institutional aid. Some of the funds also will be used to offset lost revenues in areas such as housing and dining. The school also will invest in additional counseling resources in anticipation of an increased need for services.

According to the news release, areas of focus for UNC System schools include public health, affordability, access, student success and IT security.