Livingstone College to forgive debt of returning students

SALISBURY, N.C. — Livingstone College plans to forgive the debt of students who attended during the spring 2021 semester, officials said.

The Livingstone College Debt Forgiveness Persistence Initiative (DFPI) will award more than $2.8 million to those spring 2021 students who have outstanding student account balances. The debt forgiveness initiative is being provided in combination with the student aid Livingstone already offers.

“The economic hardships created by the COVID-19 virus is unprecedented and has made it extremely difficult for students to pursue their dreams of obtaining a college education during this period of economic uncertainty,” said Livingstone President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr. in a letter to qualifying students. “The population we serve relies heavily on student loans to pay for their college education. Therefore, as we look forward to the fall 2021 academic semester, we would like to remove one of the primary barriers related to persistence – student debt.”

The initiative will help students pursue their degree in the absence of student debt, Jenkins said.

The college will use money from the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to help with the initiative.

“Access and affordability must work in tandem,” said Dr. Anthony J. Davis, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Livingstone College. “The population we serve has been significantly impacted by this pandemic. Therefore, we are deploying every resource possible in support of our students and their families.”

To take advantage of the debt forgiveness, students will receive a letter and document from Livingstone College that will require their signature. The document must be signed and returned no later than Thursday, July 15.

(WATCH: Student debt: Borrowers wonder if they’ll get out of paying thousands of dollars)