Pfeiffer University discharges student debt for more than 225 students

Published 11:15 am Friday, July 30, 2021

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More than 225 students at Pfeiffer University have had their school debts eliminated, university administrators announced Thursday.

About $425,000 in unpaid tuition and fees were relieved through funds obtained from a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) federal grant. The students affected were those with unpaid balances and enrolled at the university between March 13, 2020, and July 19 of this year.

“Using the institutional share of Pfeiffer’s government aid was an easy decision for the University,” said Shivon Lee, controller of Pfeiffer University. “To me, this is significant: Generally, if a student has a balance from a semester, they can’t proceed to the next semester until that old balance is satisfied. I am pleased the University chose to use these funds to allow our students to continue their educational pursuits.”

For Class of 2023 student Jeremiah Darrell Schenck of Gastonia, the HEERF assistance couldn’t have arrived at a better time. His mother

Jeremiah Schenck

hasn’t been able to work for months, having been injured on the job. Knowing his last tuition bill has been paid, he can move forward with some welcome breathing room, focusing on his major, Computer Information Systems, and playing men’s lacrosse. Were it not for HEERF, he’d likely have to put Pfeiffer on hold and work full-time for at least six months until he made enough money to pay his last tuition bill.

Mackenzie Deanna Swetnam, a 3-2 program student at Pfeiffer, is also looking at a brighter future because Pfeiffer is waiving her tuition debts. She is finishing up a B.S. degree in Business Management and Leadership and is pursuing a Master of Business Administration at Pfeiffer.

Mackenzie Swetnam

Were it not for the HEERF assistance, she’d have to put her education on hold for “several months” until she earned enough money to cover her summer bill. She’s now able to work and attend Pfeiffer at the same time.

Lee stressed that the writing off of students’ debt is not contingent on their enrolling at Pfeiffer.

“I believe this validates Pfeiffer’s commitment to putting students first,” she said. “This is not about Pfeiffer; it’s about helping our students continue their journey wherever that may lead.”