SBCC Uses Federal Stimulus Fund To Write Off Student Debt And Offer Support | School zone
Posted on December 22, 2021
Since August, some 1,800 students at Santa Barbara City College have received some form of debt relief and the opportunity to pursue and complete their educational goals, thanks to the SBCC’s Fresh Start initiative and the Federal Fund for Education. emergency aid for higher education (HEERF).
HEERF funds have been allocated to institutions to support students with immediate needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the SBCC responded to these needs by creating the Fresh Start Initiative, by allocating $ 1 million directly to students with outstanding balances.
Through this initiative, students enrolled from spring 2020 to spring 2021 affected by COVID-19 have received funds to repay their entire outstanding balance.
Additionally, students who left SBCC prior to the pandemic who are attempting to re-enroll – and find themselves facing COVID-19-related circumstances and limited to enrollment due to a pre-pandemic balance – have received money for a fresh start.
“The responses we received from our students were filled with hope and gratitude for the way we gave them access to their future opportunities by paying off their balances. It was a unique and incredible experience for my staff and I to give our students a fresh start, ”said Nicole Hubert, Head of Student Finances at SBCC.
The HEERF grants were part of the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) law, passed by Congress in March 2020. The bill allocated $ 2.2 trillion to provide quick and direct economic aid to negatively affected Americans. by the pandemic. Of this money, approximately $ 14 billion was turned over to the Post-Secondary Education Office for HEERF.
The SBCC also provided direct assistance to students in the form of emergency scholarships using the CARES / HEERF funds. Since the start of the pandemic, more than $ 8 million has been distributed to nearly 5,000 students, including a series of scholarships awarded on December 3 to nearly 2,200 students.
Students will have the opportunity to apply for another round of scholarships at the start of the spring semester which begins on January 10. The latest scholarship information can be found here.