Oral Roberts University (ORU) announced this week the cancellation of over $500,000 of prior balances on current student accounts.
The university located in Tulsa, Okla., recently notified 646 qualified students that their school account now carries a zero balance.
The elimination of student balances was made possible through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), which was funded by the American Recovery Plan that provided emergency financial aid for colleges, universities, and students. The elimination of prior student debt especially helped some students who carried balances that could have been a barrier to continuing their educational pursuits.
The school hopes this financial benefit will provide these students with a fresh financial start as they begin the Fall 2021 semester.
"I am very excited to make this announcement to our amazing students at ORU", ORU President William M. Wilson said. "We were able to take over $500,000.00 of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds given to as institutional aid to directly help our students in this way. This is in addition to several millions of dollars ORU students have received from the government in other COVID relief funds over the last year."
"We are always mindful of the cost of a college education, which is why at ORU, we are committed to the value of our educational model," Wilson continued. "We are grateful that we have this occasion to assist so many students in their journey to becoming whole leaders for the whole world."
"ORU continues to be one of the most affordable universities in the nation, and all of our capital improvements come from donations, not student tuition," he added. " As a person who has paid for multiple university degrees myself, I realize that student debt is a severe problem for many young people," he stated. "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."
Alison Vujnovic, assistant vice president of enrollment management - residential, expressed the excitement felt by ORU students on receiving this information,
"For these qualified students this was great news," she said. "This development came at a time when many students remained undecided about college. Now, this roadblock is removed, and they can continue their academic journey."
The news marks another celebratory moment for ORU, after making national headlines earlier this year when their basketball team became the NCAA "Cinderella Team" during March Madness. The school's research into a cure for cancer recently resulted in the university's first patent.
This year, the successful capital campaign called "Whole Leaders for the Whole World" is bringing extensive campus renovations and planned ground-breaking for several new structures as well as the openings of several new educational centers.
ORU was recently recognized by US News and World Report as the #1 Best Value Regional College in the West.
Those seeking further information about HEERF funds for college students, or other resources available, can learn more at oru.edu/today.
ORU is an interdenominational Christian Spirit-empowered university located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It offers over 150 majors, minors, and pre-professional programs ranging from business and biology to engineering, nursing, ministry and more.
For more information, visit https://oru.edu.