Fayetteville State uses $1.6 million to clear student debt

FAYETTEVILLE, N. C (WTVD) -- Fayetteville State University is lifting a huge financial burden for students who say this couldn't have come at a better time.

"Being able to have balances paid off so I can continue my education is really great," said Leighton Galloway.

Galloway is a theater major and dance minor who dreams of one day becoming an actor, singer or dancer. The first-generation college student balances working two jobs with being a full time student to cover his expenses.

"Growing up and being told college is what you need to do in order to advance in life; not being able to completely afford it has always been a struggle," Galloway said. "I know tons of friends who had past-due balances and couldn't continue on with their education because of their past-due balance."

According to the Federal Reserve, 31 percent of Black students are likely to graduate with student loans compared to 20 percent of White students.

Fayetteville State University used $1.6 million of its pandemic funding to clear the debt of all students who attended the university during the COVID-19 pandemic. This means 1,442 students will enter the fall semester debt-free, including Galloway.

"It's really a blessing to have my courses paid for," he said.
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