FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.(WNCN) – Students at Fayetteville State University will start the fall semester on a clean slate. The university has cleared more than $1 million in outstanding balances.

Last year, FSU applied $1,629,228 to clear the balances for 1,178 students during this time, enabling them to return to school this fall without worrying about additional debt.

This year, the school said they will clear another $1,653,959 for another 1,189 students who attended FSU from summer 2021 to spring 2022.

“Financial barriers are the number one obstacle our students must overcome to achieve their dream of earning a college degree,” FSU Chancellor Darrell T. Allison said in a statement. 

“We will do all we can to help keep costs down for our students making their path to a degree more accessible. Assisting in our students’ financial independence in such a tangible and meaningful way is not only rewarding, but also the right thing to do.”

FSU said beginning fall 2022, they would also be reducing tuition rates to $500 for North Carolina students and $2500 for out-of-state students. The school said it was a savings of nearly $2,000 for in-state students and nearly $10,000 for out-of-state students in tuition alone for the academic year. FSU said for qualified military-connected students, tuition will be free.

“Our ability to resolve these past balances is a game-changer for our students — leveraging this funding to meet their needs is a major step towards ensuring our students continue their education and graduate,” Jennifer K. Addison said, the controller in the FSU Office of Business and Finance.