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D'Youville University Graduate Wins "My Dog Ate My Debt" Lottery

December 13, 2023
President Dr. Lorrie Clemo, in graduation regalia, stands with student in graduation cap and gown. They hold a giant check representing a payment of the lottery winner's student loan debt.

Original Article by: Alexandra Rios-Malviya with WGRZ Channel 2

Many students are worried about paying back their student loans, but one D'Youville University nursing graduate just got a lesson about good fortune.

This is the second time D'Youville University hosted its annual "My Dog Ate My Debt" lottery. Last year the schools mascots, Saint and Maggie, were part of a new initiative to help pay the student loan debt of an undergraduate student.

At each commencement ceremony the school has a random drawing, and the student that wins has their loan paid off by the university.

Benjamin Grant is the vice president for student affairs at D'Youville. He said this is a gift the university is proud to be able to offer some of their students.

"I don't know this personal student, but from hearing her story on stage, we are thrilled that we are able to do this for her. She has two small children at home, and I am confident that not having that student loan debt will be a boost when she goes to start her career and continue her family into the future," Grant said.

Jessly Betances is the winner of this year's lottery. She told 2 On Your Side she is a mother of two and that it took her six years instead of four to earn her nursing degree. She had to take out extra student loans during that course of time.

But now, she is walking away with no student loans.

D'Youville University plans to continue to pay for student loans for one lucky student at every commencement ceremony just like this one.

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