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Ohio university erases student debt for 2020 and 2021 graduates

The graduating students at Wilberforce University got a life-changing surprise.

WILBERFORCE, Ohio — Graduating from college is always an uplifting moment, but students at one Ohio university got a little bonus along with their diplomas.

Wilberforce University, a private historically Black university, held a commencement ceremony for the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 over the weekend. During the speeches, the university's president, Elfred Anthony Pinkard, made a huge announcement.

“As these graduates begin their lives as responsible adults, we are honored to be able to give them a fresh start by relieving their student debt to the university,” Pinkard said in a release issued by the college.

The money for the debt forgiveness comes from various scholarships such as the United Negro College Fund, Inc., Jack and Jill, Inc., and other institutional funding to help students from last year’s spring and fall semesters and spring 2021 with their higher education finances, the university said.

In total, the announcement cleared $375,000 in debt for the students of the 2020 and 2021 class.

“I couldn’t believe it when he said it. It’s a blessing. I know God will be with me. I’m not worried. I can use that money and invest it into my future, said Rodman Allen, a 2021 graduate from the university.

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