HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. — As part of a $3 million series of equity initiatives, Northern Kentucky University (NKU) is eliminating $600,000 in student debt accumulated during the COVID-19 pandemic, campus officials said in an email to Spectrum News 1.
What You Need To Know
- Northern Kentucky University is eliminating $600,000 in student debt accumulated during the COVID-19 pandemic
- The school is bringing outstanding account balances to zero for degree-seeking students with balances from Spring 2020 through the Spring 2021 Semester
- NKU is also offering students $250 bookstore vouchers for the Fall 2021 semester
- The moves are part of a $3 million series of equity initiatives
Using federal coronavirus relief funds, NKU's Equity Initiatives advance the university's Success by Design, which outlines three pillars of student success: access, completion and career & community engagement.
The first initiative eliminates $600,000 in student debt. NKU is bringing outstanding account balances to zero for degree-seeking students with balances from Spring 2020 through the Spring 2021 Semester, officials said.
“The health crisis and ensuing recession, affected so many of our students and their families,” said NKU President Ashish Vaidya. “Wiping out their account balance, allows our students to continue their educational journey with a fresh start without worrying about what they owe the university."
NKU will also help cover cumbersome costs ahead of the fall semester. The university is providing all degree-seeking undergraduate students – including online learners – with $250 vouchers to the Barnes & Noble Bookstore to help pay for books, technology and educational supplies.
“Nearly 50% of our students are the first in their families to attend college,” said Provost Matt Cecil. “Many students face difficult choices during their path to a college degree, like choosing between buying food and essentials or course materials. The $250 voucher can make the difference between them staying in school or stopping out.”
Officials said NKU is also dedicating over $250,000 for student health and well-being support. NKU will provide funding to train faculty, staff and students to form peer support groups as well.
“Our campus community experienced a tumultuous time over the last year, and it has taken a toll on all of us. Starting those conversations can be difficult, let alone normalizing that many are struggling right now,” said Dr. Eddie Howard, vice president for student affairs. “The number of students in need of help continues to expand. This is an important commitment in connecting students with the support and resources they need while attaining their educational goals.”