USAO pays off more than $700K in student debt

COVID-19 relief funds go a long way in easing the burden on undergraduates
COVID-19 relief funds go a long way in easing the burden on undergraduates

Thanks to federal aid from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)—part of the COVID-19-related relief bills passed by the United State Congress—the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma has been able to eliminate more than $721,000 of outstanding student balances.

Including both current and former students who studied at the USAO from the spring 2020 semester through summer 2021, these federal funds have allowed the university to cancel the debt of 383 undergraduates, a significant fraction of the institution’s student body. The outstanding account balances were money that students owed directly to the university, rather than private loans owed to a lender or federal student loans owed to the government.

“At USAO, students are our No. 1 priority, and the past 18 months has been extremely difficult for them,” said President John Feaver. “This funding has been instrumental in providing relief so they can continue their college education and focus on their studies regardless of any personal financial struggles due to the pandemic.”

As a novel coronavirus began to reach pandemic levels in early 2020, the federal government’s Office of Postsecondary Education was quick to understand the uncertainty that the crisis would have on institutions of higher education and the faculty, staff, students and parents involved with them. As part of the initiative to overcome this challenge, successive rounds of emergency grants to colleges and universities have been built into the three pandemic-related bills passed by Congress.

For more information, contact the Business Office at (405) 574-1211.  

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