Debt that community college students in the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system took on or could not repay because of the pandemic will be forgiven, according to Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Terrence Cheng.
Around $17 million will be forgiven, according to CSCU. This will impact 18,161 current and former students.
Cheng said Tuesday that federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund money will be used and the forgiveness affects all account balances that resulted from enrollment in summer 2019 through spring 2021 semesters. All registration holds related to these outstanding balances have been removed.
He said there are no conditions attached and students are not required to enroll in classes in any future semesters.
“Community college students have been hit especially hard by COVID-19,” Cheng said in a statement. “By eliminating the debt those students owe to institutions, we are removing a hurdle that prevents far too many people from continuing their educational journeys. Our message to students is simple: you now have a clean slate, so if an account balance was standing in your way, you can now register for classes for the fall semester.”
In addition to debt forgiveness, CSCU said it has distributed more than $56 million in direct payments to students across the system, using federal stimulus funding, since 2020 and additional announcements on student support are expected in coming weeks.