University Pays Account Balances For Nearly 3,000 Students

INSTITUTE, W.Va. (AP) — A university in West Virginia used federal relief funds to pay off account balances for nearly 3,000 students who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

West Virginia State University paid off balances for all degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students from March 13, 2020, through the summer 2021 term, WSAZ-TV reported. The school used $816,000 from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, which covered tuition, housing and other fees.

“We understand the past two years have been a hardship for our students and their families and we wanted to take this action to help ease their financial burden,” university Vice President and Chief of Staff Ericke S. Cage said in a statement. “We did not want an unpaid balance owed to the university to be a reason that someone chose not to continue with their education.”

The funds will be automatically applied to eligible student accounts, officials said.