The Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) is setting aside $2.75 million from the federal stimulus package to pay off the unpaid balances of at least 3,500 students, giving them a chance to enroll this fall.
The effort is a drive to attract more students to return to campus after the community college saw a 24 percent drop in enrollment due to the pandemic.
“Our students, most of whom receive some level of financial aid, were hit very hard,” CCP President Donald Generals told The Inquirer. “They were affected in terms of their education, their lives, their families, and their jobs.”
“We’re trying to clear the path into higher education for these students as much as possible. We can’t allow an entire generation of students to lose momentum toward their degree,” he explained.
The funds will be used to cover outstanding textbook and tuition costs. Only students enrolled at CCP between March 13, 2020, and the end of the spring 2021 semester will be eligible for debt relief.
According to senior vice president of the American Council on Education, Terry Hartle, Community College of Philadelphia’s relief is “exactly” what Congress had in mind when it allocated its federal stimulus package. “This enables thousands of people to continue their college education when they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise,” he told the Inquirer.
Debt Relief Movement
Several colleges and universities have opted to use millions in funds to relieve students’ heavy financial burdens, whether through federal stimulus aid or private donations.
South Carolina State University recently announced that it would be allocating $9.8 million to cancel student loan debt for 2,500 students thanks to the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan Act.
The Yale School of Drama has also moved to reduce the debt of graduates by no longer charging tuition to current and future students following a $150 million donation from billionaire David Geffen