New York City, NY

City University of New York to forgive millions in student loan debt for over 50,000 students

Tara Blair Ball
Photo by Rochelle Nicole on Unsplash

City University of New York declared this week that it is utilizing government COVID-19 relief funds to forgive up to $125 million in student debt for up to 50,000 students who were selected during the pandemic. New York City students should rejoice at this news.

Any qualified students at one of City University of New York's 25 grounds who was enlisted from March of last year through the Spring 2021 semester will have any debt accrued during that time excused under the "CUNY Comeback Program," which was supported by the educational system's Board of Trustees on July 6.

Fox Business also reported that even illegal immigrants can qualify for this student loan forgiveness: 'Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, other DREAMers, and similar undocumented students' are also eligible to receive the federal taxpayer funds, the school said."

CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said, "I view this initiative as more than just good policy; it also affirms the recognition that challenges still exist for many New York City residents, and it helps to fulfill the moral imperative that is implicit in CUNY’s historic mandate to provide access to a quality education for all New Yorkers, regardless of background or means."

Enlistment at CUNY in New York City fell 5.1% last year as classes went remote and students struggled with pandemic lockdown measures.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, "The COVID-19 pandemic has caused hardships in the lives of so many New Yorkers, and our students were among those most impacted. This landmark new program eliminates millions of dollars in unpaid debt, providing much-needed relief to tens of thousands of CUNY students as they work to get back on their feet after the pandemic and plan for their futures."

Students who took care of all their educational cost and charges during the pandemic are qualified for a $200 award.

The U.S. government stopped student loan installments toward the start of the pandemic, however that strategy is set to end toward the finish of September.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and other top Democrats are pushing President Biden to broaden that pause to help those who owe student loans across the country.

Sen. Warren said, "These people live with a sword hanging over their heads, and every day that goes by, that sword draws a little closer. The President of the United States can remove this sword. The President can prevent this pain. The President can cancel $50,000 in student loan debt. He can wipe out all debt for about 36 million Americans."

CUNY, at least, is allowing students to take one step closer to ensuring many will be able to stay in school and hopefully be able to graduate.

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