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UL Lafayette Uses Federal COVID-19 Funds to Erase Student Debt

Photo courtesy of Doug Dugas / University of Louisiana at Lafayette

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has erased $2.7 million in student debt.

Posted: Aug 10, 2021 11:40 AM
Updated: Aug 10, 2021 11:46 AM

LAFAYETTE, La. - The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has erased $2.7 million in student debt.

UL Lafayette utilized allocations from the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, part of the American Rescue Plan that was signed into law in March. It provided $39.6 billion to higher education institutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of 1,175 students at UL Lafayette benefited from the debt relief.

To qualify, they must have been enrolled on or after March 13, 2020. The University eliminated debts incurred between the Spring 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. If a student enrolled in Spring 2020 had an account balance from a previous semester, it was forgiven as well.

“We care about students and their success,” said Dr. DeWayne Bowie, UL Lafayette’s vice president for Enrollment Management. “By eliminating balances, we’re providing students with much-needed relief that will enable them to focus on their academic journeys and move them closer to completing their degrees.”

The debt forgiveness applied only to balances students owed to UL Lafayette and not to any private loans.

Separately, the University utilized HEERF funding to provide direct grants to students enrolled during the Summer 2021 semester. Those funds were disbursed in late June.

Qualified undergraduate and graduate students received between $500 and $900. The amounts varied depending on the number of credit hours they were enrolled.

The University plans to issue similar payments to registered students in the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters as well. Students will receive more information regarding payment dates and amounts at the beginning of each semester.

More information on HEERF disbursements is available on the University’s website.

Photo credit: Doug Dugas / University of Louisiana at Lafayette

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