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Harris-Stowe using pandemic funds to cancel student debt

Harris-Stowe University in St. Louis says it is using federal pandemic relief funds to cancel student debts from the previous academic year.

Harris-Stowe, one of the two historically Black universities in Missouri, said it erased about $330,000 in debt, averaging about $1,076 per student. LaTonia Collins Smith, Harris-Stowe’s interim president, said the coronavirus pandemic created so much debt for students that the university had low enrollment this fall.

She said many students lost their jobs because of COVID-19 and could not pay balances for previous years. Lincoln University, Missouri's other historically Black university, announced it July that was using pandemic funds to forgive about $1.5 million in student debt.

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