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GSW gives out millions and erases student debts

Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 6:58 PM EDT
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AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) - Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) is giving out millions of dollars to help students continue their education. The pandemic created financial challenges for many on campus.

GSW applied Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding to its students’ accounts this school year.

It’s a part of the American Rescue Plan’s goal to help people the pandemic affected.

“Students have been hurt financially in a variety of different ways, whether they lost a job or their family suffered some loss of income,” said GSW President Dr. Neal Weaver.

Some students also needed to upgrade technology to move into online learning formats.

The school is distributing $3 million dollars to almost every student on campus depending on their enrollment status.

Weaver said they’ve already spent $110,000 to alleviate student debt.

“The debt relief was based on students that we’re carrying forward debt from the spring semester into the fall. It was a way for us to help them overcome some financial challenges they had, and not have to have them carry that over into the next semester,” he said.

Basketball player, Yasmin Perez is one of the students who benefitted.

GSW is distributing $3 million dollars to almost every student on campus.
GSW is distributing $3 million dollars to almost every student on campus.(WALB)

“Athletics has always covered my tuition for undergrad. I graduated in three years. This year I’m entering graduate school and the fees were higher than I expected. Basically, that COVID relief helped me zero out my balance,” she said.

Perez said she didn’t know how she was going to pay to continue her education.

“I just kept praying on it and then I got that email and it was at the right time. It just made me happy and relieved. GSW has always given me blessings and I never doubted that there would be another one. It was great for me and my family and my situation,” she said.

GSW continues to distribute funds ranging from $150 - $1,350 per semester this school year.

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