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Local college graduate gets federal student loan paid off

Posted at 3:07 PM, Dec 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 17:30:07-05

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A local woman no longer has to make payments toward her federal student loan.

Blair Smith, 24, had her federal college loan paid in full on Friday, thanks to the non-profit Central Scholarship.

Each year, Central Scholarship selects a person at random from a pool of scholarship recipients to pay off their student loans up to $30,000. It's part of their Pay Down Debt Award program.

Smith's outstanding debt was $29,825.52. She graduated from the University of Maryland College Park in 2020 with a degree in bio-engineering.

She talked about what it means to her now that she doesn't have to worry about paying down this debt: "Getting a master’s degree in a shorter amount of time or even seeking out certifications because I’m in the biotechnology field, things like that will really set me apart from my peers. Its amazing to know I can pay for it without having to think about how I’m going to budget for it."

Blair is the fifth recipient of the Pay Down Debt Award.