Langston University cleared the debt of 1,300 students. The university said $4.6 million from federal taxpayers is footing the bill.
“That $4,500 was going to be hard somehow to figure out how to pay for it, but it was a blessing though,” said London Brookins, a sophomore at Langston University.
“Number one, I didn't believe it I was like 'what somebody is playing!” said John Crane, a senior.
“My mom started crying and I was really just thanking God because this whole summer we were trying to figure out how to pay the bill,” said Tanner Calhaun, a junior.
Langston University cleared the debt through a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Brookins has been working full time to try and make ends meet.
“I work pretty much three days a week, full time student, 18 credits trying to figure out a way to pay for school and my bills at the same time,” he said.
This money allowed him to enroll in the upcoming semester. He's happy he's still on track to graduate in 2024.
“It relieves a lot of stress for a lot of students like me and a lot of others who couldn't do both,” said Brookins.
“It makes me feel very excited because I am able to make a change in my life and my family and friends’ life as well,” said Calhaun.
In a similar boat, John Crane does photography and landscaping on the side. He said since the start of the pandemic these jobs haven't been pulling in the money they used to.
“I had to get it paid before I even started in the fall, I couldn't get another loan,” he said.
“I really appreciate that, and I just want to say thank you Langston for doing that, you know what I’m saying,” said Calhaun.
The president of the university said there will be another portion of funding for students who are enrolled in the fall semester.