UT Austin waives nearly $ 5 million in student debt


AUSTIN, Texas – Federal COVID-19 relief funds will help the University of Texas at Austin ease nearly $ 5 million in student debt.

Debt relief funding comes from the Federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), with the money from the US bailout passed, according to KVUE media partners at The Austin American-Statesman. in March. The fund was established in March 2020 in response to financial concerns at colleges and universities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The debt of 8,144 students will be paid, an average of about $ 610 per student.

“The discharge of past due debt means that all financial barriers have been lifted,” Kathleen Harrison, assistant director of communications for the office of the executive vice president and provost, told The Statesman. “By removing the financial barriers generated by past balances, enrollment interruptions are reduced as students work towards graduation. “

Eligible students were notified of their outstanding balances on Wednesday and their loans would be canceled for the fall semester 2021, according to The Statesman.

“UT Austin is using part of its HEERF Institutional Grant to do this, so that we can help students overcome the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and help them continue their education or find employment,” Diane Todd Sprague, executive director of the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, and Brian Dixon, assistant vice-president of student aid and affordability, wrote in an email to the students.

More than $ 2.3 million released for 5,353 UT undergraduates in December adds to more than $ 2.6 million for 2,247 undergraduates and 544 graduate students released earlier for work. sales before the fall semester 2021, reported The Statesman.

Eligible students had to be enrolled since March 13, 2020. They will still need federal and private loans. Federal loan repayments are expected to resume on February 1, 2022 after a nearly two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

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