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The topic of canceling student loan debt has gained universal appeal recently due to the simple fact that, well, many of us can painfully relate.

Although the issue is still being argued on a political level, students at Virginia-based HBCU Hampton University got a pleasant surprise this week after learning that all balances from the Spring 2022 semester will be wiped in addition to a halt in tuition, fees, room and board for the fall semester as well.

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Announced last Thursday (April 7) on the school’s website, HU president Dr. William R. Harvey pointed to the financial hardships that many have suffered with due to the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason behind the game-changing decision. Qualifying students already had access to financial help made available under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, in addition to many students also having their Spring 2021 balances paid off. Those enrolled in the Spring 2022 semester also received a $200.00 book scholarship, and graduating scholars in the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 each received $500 towards repayment if they took out a federal student loan. The ones who didn’t take out loans saw their $150 graduation fee reimbursed.

As reported by WAVY TV 10, it also appears that Hampton University raised on-campus salaries to a $15-per hour minimum wage last year, plus issued $200 bonuses for all faculty and staff at the end of the year.

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We’re firm believers that education should be free, and hopefully this move at Hampton can act as a first step in heading towards that reality. For the sake of future scholars everywhere, we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed.

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Hampton University Opts To Dissolve All Spring 2022 Student Balances  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com