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When it comes to debt in America, the ones accrued by students seeking a higher education are massive.  According to, only the debt incurred by homeowners is larger than the incredible amount of money owed by those chasing a degree, and by extension, a better life.

According to the official numbers, close to 43 million U.S. borrowers owed nearly $1.6 trillion altogether in federal student loans as of the end of 2020.  When you add in personal loans used to close the gaps other financial aid doesn't cover, that number jumps to $1.7 trillion owed by students across the country.

Ivy League Diversity
Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

As it stands, the first priority after landing the job that required the degree you went into debt for is paying off that debt.  For a lot of folks, that's a long and grueling process - but if you don't come from a family wealthy enough to pay for school or get a full-scholarship, it's the only way.

That's why the announcement on Friday from Southern University at Shreveport's Chancellor Rodney Ellis is such a big deal.  Ellis said that anyone who had attended the school in the last year would have their debt eliminated thanks to federal COVID-19 relief money.

University Of Birmingham Hold Degree Congregations
Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

According to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, the university is extending this financial grace by offering $1,000 in financial aid to any student who enrolls by August 6th of this year!  Officials estimate that the move will cost the school $3.5 million.

Ellis says that the debt-elimination scheme was put in place to " students who faced financial hardships during the pandemic return to school without worrying about owing money."

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