FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Students at Fayetteville State University are no longer faced with the burden of past due accounts, tuition, and fees.
No matter the balance – it is now zero across the board.
“It can bring a lot of relief for me to focus on my school rather than focus on the money and trying to find other ways to pay for it,” said FSU freshman Allison Taylor.
The University is using money from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, which is part of the latest federal COVID package, to pay for it.
“Just seeing the stress come off my friends’ shoulders when I look at them. It just made me feel some type of way,” said student Scott Walker.
Chancellor Darrell Allison told CBS 17 it is often it is for financial reasons that students drop out rather than academic problems.
“Some people will say a cost, it’s not a cost to us it’s a $1.6 million investment. Why? Because we believe this is going to eliminate barriers and for us where student success truly is a priority we believe we’re putting our money literally where our mouth is,” he said.
A total of 70 percent of FSU’s population are first-generation college students, with 80 percent of them coming from rural North Carolina.
Allison said his story was a similar one as he continued his education and received a law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.
“So when I hear about students and the burden was lifted if you will, it really warms my heart and again it goes full circle for me and this is what it’s all about,” he said.
Students who aren’t impacted think the investment makes sense. Freshman Zion Fleming said, “I think it’s going to have a huge impact on a lot of students because some people wouldn’t be here without it so I think it’s going to be a big impact on their families.”
HEERF III funds additional money is being used to offer free classes to 1,400 summer school students.
This is to help undergraduate students who are falling behind close the gap.
FSU said “if an undergrad can complete 30 credits toward graduation in an academic year, it dramatically improves their chance of graduating on time”.