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Spelman College Clears Outstanding Student Balances from Academic Year 2020-2021

Spelman College Clears Outstanding Student Balances from Academic Year 2020-2021
Posted By: Kennedy Williams on July 27, 2021

ATLANTA (July 26, 2021) To address the financial hardships that have taken a toll on students and families over the last year, Spelman College cleared outstanding student balances from AY 2020-2021, an action made possible by the receipt of funds from the federal government.

In addition, for all Spelman students during 2020-2021, the college implemented a significant 14 percent discount off tuition and fees, and reset tuition and mandatory fee rates back to 2017-2018 rates for AY 2021-2022.

This reset to the lower tuition rates of four years ago will have a long-term impact on affordability, said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman.

“Spelman’s in-depth study into the financial aid needs of our students several years ago reinforced our understanding of one of this country’s fundamental inequities: high performing, high need students are drastically underfunded,” said Dr. Campbell.



“If 2020 taught us anything, it is that racial fault lines continue to make the lives of African Americans quantitatively harder than those of non-Black Americans.”

Beyond the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the College is mindful of the amount of debt that families incur and has spent the last four years raising more than $120 million in new financial aid.

“Despite the financial hurdles, our academic outcomes are impressive. Half of the students Spelman serves are PELL eligible, that is low to moderate income, which makes our six-year graduation rate of 75 percent, 30 percentage points above the national average, a standout,” said Dr. Campbell.

During the pandemic, Spelman was able to directly impact every enrolled student in one or more of the following ways:

Refunding a portion of fees to enrolled students related to the spring 2020 semester

Establishing a student emergency fund in spring 2020

Offering a one-time 14 percent composite discount on tuition and fees for academic year 2020-2021

Providing federally funded emergency student financial aid grants to students June 2020, spring 2021, and summer 2021

Clearing outstanding student balances for 2020-2021

Developed a forthcoming partnership with Lyft to provide subsidized rides to a maximum of 500 students residing off-campus without their own vehicle

SOURCE: Spelman College
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