Clark Atlanta surprises students by canceling $2M in debt

Students at Clark Atlanta University woke up to a big surprise last week. 

The university announced that it is canceling student account balances from the last five semesters.

University leaders say that means every student's balance from the spring 2020 semester through this summer's semester will be debt-free.

According to Clark Atlanta officials, around 900 students had about $2 million in debt canceled immediately.

One student told FOX 5 she was left speechless when she woke up and saw her account balance was zero.

"When they told me I was like ‘wow.’ Just for our university to do that for our students, it's … you're speechless for a moment like that because not every university is canceling account balances," Junior Autymn Epps said.

University President Dr. Georgia French said they are using money from the CARES Act's High Education Emergency Relief Fund to flip the bill.

French said they decided to do this to help students at the historically Black university hurt by the economic effects of the pandemic.

"Our students, like students around the world, were adversely affected financially, mental health, all sorts of issues, and what we wanted to do was find a way to help them," he said.

Before this, students with a balance were not able to register for the fall semester.

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