Elizabeth City State University will clear student debt for all Vikings who have an outstanding balance on their student accounts from Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters due to COVID-19 hardships. The total amount of student debt forgiveness is $286,500.
According to ECSU Provost Farrah J. Ward, the well-being of ECSU’s students is the university’s top priority. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many students and their families experienced financial difficulties which resulted in the inability of students to clear their account balances.
Students who are not currently enrolled and were impacted by the pandemic will have their accounts cleared and can now reenroll at ECSU. Current students with a financial hold due to an outstanding balance, will now be able to register for summer and fall classes.
“The administration is aware that the COVID-19 crisis caused financial hardships for many students and their families. As the pandemic and its impact continue to affect our students, we are committed to finding ways to support the Viking Community through this crisis,” said Provost Ward.
ECSU will use the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II), authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP), to provide financial support to students who have been impacted by the pandemic. As a result, all ECSU students, including graduating seniors, will have their balance cleared from Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 and there will be no impact to their future financial aid eligibility as a result of this program.
As one of the UNC System’s NC Promise Tuition Program schools, the university is committed to providing students with affordable tuition, as well as numerous opportunities to fund their valuable, quality education. In addition, through the VikingPlus program, students are able to access a number of initiatives designed to aid them financially as they concentrate on the important work of becoming educated.
VikingPlus provides a number of opportunities, including making the first six credits of summer school free. More than 400 ECSU students have received an award totaling $517,733 in free tuition for the summer 2021 term.
Students will receive $1,500 towards their housing and meal plan if they live on campus for the fall 2021 semester. ECSU expects to award $1.5 million for the 1,023 students projected to live on campus this fall.
ECSU awarded more than $2.1 million in emergency grants to support students during the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds are awarded on an ongoing basis, and do not impact financial aid eligibility.
The university offers a $150 to $4,000 grant if a student withdrew temporarily and re-enrolled at a later date. ECSU has provided more than $50,000 since the launch of the program last year, with additional grants to be awarded this summer.
“ECSU’s goal is to make a quality education accessible and to give our students every opportunity to succeed,” said Chancellor Karrie G. Dixon. “This is an incredible opportunity to make an impact by reducing student debt.”