While everyone starts college with the dream to earn a degree and have a better life, sometimes life gets in the way. Wayne State University has developed a program to help students who left with debt and no diploma come back and finish what they started. Warrior Way Back offers former students an opportunity to re-enroll and have some of their student debt forgiven. “A lot of this work is about relationships — not just with the university, but with higher education in general,” says coordinator Amber Greenway Neher. “Because it is that one small thing happened. What seems to the university to be one small thing, but life happens. A family member dies, you lose a job, and things just kind of snowball from there.” About 500 students have re-enrolled, and more than 150 have earned their degrees. Debt forgiveness was recently expanded from $1,500 to $4,000. Neher said the program focuses on helping students from disadvantaged backgrounds or marginalized communities.

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