SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Southern University of Shreveport made a monumental announcement Friday, hoping to attract students back to campus.

Any student who attended SUSLA from Spring 2020 to Spring 2021 will have their accounts cleared of any debt or outstanding payments. University officials want to eliminate financial obstacles to prevent students from returning for the fall semester, which begins in August.

“It is our mission to make sure the students at our institution and the citizens in our state receive every opportunity for prosperity and to ensure that any barrier is eliminated to help you get back on your feet, with the education needed to secure high-paying jobs in high-demand career fields,” said Chancellor Dr. Rodney Ellis.

The American Rescue Funds and CARES Act Funding helped the university eliminate this debt — impacting more than 2,500 current and former students.

“Nearly 70% of community college students face some type of financial barrier,” Ellis said. “As a result, a number of them have to work full or part-time, but still have to pay normal living expenses, let alone paying for the cost of their education.”

For prospective students, SUSLA is offering $1,000 in financial support, if they register for classes by August 6. One current SUSLA student is elated by the university’s generosity.

“I feel like we have some of the best programs for a community college and then on top of that, we have the thousand dollars going towards our future students to come, just to give them a little extra boost to get registered and get back in school,” said Jennifer Pickens. “So I think SUSLA takes extra good care of their students.”

“We are open admissions, so your academic background does not matter,” Ellis said. “We will take you where you are and get you to where you want to be.”

To apply and register for classes, you can visit SUSLA’s website.