Oral Roberts University Cancels $500K in Debt for 646 Students

The Oral Roberts University, a Pentecostal Christian-owned school in Oklahoma has cancelled the debt of 646 students. The students include undergraduates, graduates, and online students of the institution. The debt which amounted to over $500,000 was cleared through the government aid program, Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). 

In March 2020, the Congress passed HEERF as part of the CARES Act and added about $12.6 billion in COVID-19 relief aid for schools shared by the Department of Education. Half of the total funds received by schools are expected to be used for emergency student aid.

The school’s Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management-Residential, Alison Vujnovic, stated that throughout the 2020 fall and 2021 summer academic year, they admitted 4,303 students. However, 646 students owed the school. Consequently, the institution felt the need to clear the debts of the remaining students. Hence, it sent memo to the students informing them that their debts have all been cleared.

While responding to questions from The Christian Post, Vujnovic said, “The rising cost of higher education is not a mystery. And the kind of federal and state aid available has not risen to the cost. Higher education is really out of reach for many and we wanted to help those students reach over these obstacles.”

“This cancellation of money that they owed will help these students focus on what’s important to them and not worry about their balance. Most of them have gone through tough things in this difficult year and now they can focus on their education, family, jobs and just focus on living their lives. 

“It’s a great display of our heart towards our students. Staff and administration care deeply for students. And I pray this is one of the right things for the students, all for God’s glory," she added.

Oral Roberts University (ORU) was founded by renowned preacher, Oral Roberts. The President of ORU, William M. Wilson, said the institution is conscious of the financial demands of a college education. He added that last year, the government gave the institution several millions of dollars in form of COVID-19 relief funds. More so, ORU is adopting various means to help students financially. In his words,

“As a person who has paid for multiple university degrees, I realize that student debt is a severe problem for many young people. We are doing everything we can to assist our students financially and we are thrilled to erase this over half a million dollars from student accounts owed to the university.

“We are committed to the value of our educational model. We are grateful that we have this occasion to assist so many students in their journey to becoming Whole Leaders for the Whole World,” he concluded.

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