Howard is getting rid of its “Purge Date” policy—-a tradition where students who haven’t paid the balance of their tuition by a certain date are dropped from University’s registration rolls. According to The Hilltop, in 2009, 600 students were purged, which may have prompted a backlash. Students will eventually have to pay their balances in order to register later this fall for the Spring semester.

Unfortunately, the announcement about the end of purging was made after some students had left or were preparing to leave campus:

While the announcement hit the Howard community via Twitter Saturday evening, not every student knew of the University’s change of plans. “They canceled the purge date?!,” said Taylor Greene, a junior international business major. “I thought I was about to be purged and got no hearing of this cancellation. I think it’s truly rude for them not to tell people in advance because students were already packing up their belongs and sad to go,” said Greene.

“Us [Howard Student Trustees and HUSA] getting the purge date removed literally changed the course of some people’s lives,” said Undergraduate Trustee Erin Rigsby. Rigsby, who says the feedback from their decision has been “positive and supportive,” wants students to realize that this monumental moment at Howard would not have been possible without the support from the Board of Trustees.

The reprieve, especially in an economy where black families have lost wealth at disproportionately high rates, is certainly welcome.