Coastal Carolina hoping scholarships funded by donors can help students during pandemic

Grand Strand

CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) – Coastal Carolina University is looking at ways to help students pay for college, which could be tougher for some due to the pandemic.

With rising student loan debt and the financial hardships caused by the coronavirus, paying for college will be harder for many students this upcoming year.

“People are recognizing that it really takes a lot for a student to get into college, but it also takes a tremendous amount of resources to get that person through the next four years,” said Bryan Steros, who’s the interim vice president for philanthropy at CCU.

Coastal Carolina, like many other universities, has frozen tuition through the next two school years. Tuition will remain at $5,820 per semester for in-state students and $13,697 per semester for out-of-state students through 2021-22.

Steros says while contributions are down from last year, donors are giving towards scholarships so more students can have another type of economic relief.

“It really makes a direct impact on the student, which is helpful,” Steros said.

While it likely won’t help for many years, CCU announced Monday an anonymous donor from Alabama will give the school its largest-ever planned gift of $95 million. The man is under 30, with a background in financial services and agriculture.

While he didn’t go to Coastal, Steros says he has a connection to the school.

“This person came forward and said that they wanted to include Coastal in their estate planning and we received a notification that we were going to be in the individual’s will,” said Steros.

That money isn’t available until the donor dies, but Steros says it shows CCU has a bright future.

“It is transformational and it’s definitely going to help provide, in the long term, many different resources for our students, which is really exciting,” he said.

The National Consumer Law Center is asking Congress to make sure borrowers don’t have to make federal student loan payments during the pandemic.

The CARES Act has suspended those payments, but only until the end of September.

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