Knowing individuals continue to struggle with the impact of the pandemic, Tulsa Community College is using a portion of its federal COVID Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds to help current and former students keep moving forward.
The College is notifying students with outstanding balances who were enrolled on or after March 2020 that the money they owed TCC, as of July 12, 2021, has been erased. The initiative involves balances accrued during the Spring 2020 through Spring 2021 semesters.
TCC cancels debt due to pandemic
“The students who are eligible, and it includes more than 5,000 individuals, do not have to do anything to participate. We are simply telling them their past-due balances have been paid off which gives them a clean slate. By removing what had become a financial barrier, these students can remain on the path to a degree or return to TCC to complete their degree,” said Eileen Kenney, Associate vice president of enrollment and retention.
Data from a recent survey of TCC students shows the dire financial situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the struggle to pay for college. Nearly 40 percent reported their current financial situation was worse than before the pandemic. The survey also showed 41 percent are struggling financially to pay for college.
“We understand our students are struggling and we are here to help them. Using the federal dollars in this way is a holistic approach for all our students whether they are currently attending or attended at some point since Spring 2020,” said Kenney.
The plan to pay off outstanding balances of current and former TCC students, regardless of whether they are currently enrolled, uses roughly $4 million in federal dollars from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Institutional Funds.
Debt cancellation is automatic, no paperwork to fill out
TCC also received federal dollars allocated for Student Emergency Funds and will use those federal dollars for emergency grants to support students going forward who are enrolled now and will continue to be enrolled.
Those individuals receiving the outstanding balance forgiveness are not required to do anything, it is being processed automatically for those who incurred the balance during the eligible semesters. They will be notified by email through their TCC account. If an individual has a question about whether or not they qualify, they should contact the Bursar at firstname.lastname@example.org with their name and TCC student ID number.