Central Alabama Community College will forgive the balances of 102 students thanks to the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF).
HEERF was authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) in March providing $39.6 billion in support to institutions of higher education to serve students and ensure learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic.
CACC will use special institutional funding received from the U.S. Department of Education’s HEERF to forgive the balances totaling $83,687.27. This debt forgiveness will pave the way for students to continue their education if they so desire.
"We are glad to be able to help our students with debt relief through this grant," CACC president Jeff Lynn said. "This has been an extremely difficult year for everyone. This grant will allow these students to continue their educational paths without putting themselves in a financial bind."
In addition, CACC will be distributing approximately $1.7 million additional HEERF stimulus payments to students in the coming academic year.
Students who are enrolled and who qualify under ARP will receive these additional funds during the semester(s) in which they are enrolled. This additional money will be paid directly to students and may be used for any aspect of their education — tuition, food, housing, course material, technology, healthcare, childcare, and other expenses.
The majority of CACC students will be qualified for the award under federal guidelines. CACC will use existing enrollment information to allocate funds, which will be automatically distributed to all qualified students, including high school students taking classes with CACC through the Dual Enrollment Program. Students do not need to contact CACC to request the funds.