San Mateo college district announces for federal funding for student assistance, including debt relief

San Mateo college district announces new round of federal funds for student assistance, including debt relief

in Education

The San Mateo County Community College District will use more than half of the $23 million it is receiving in a third round of federal pandemic relief funding toward student financial aid and debt relief.

The district’s three colleges – Cañada College, College of San Mateo and Skyline College – have collectively been allocated $23,248,192 from the recent third round of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), authorized in American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Of those funds, nearly $12 million will go directly to student aid and more than $700,000 to student debt relief, the college district said.

“Direct aid to students will range from $1,250 – $1,625 for non-Pell-eligible students (non-need based) to $2,000 – $2,750 for Pell-eligible (need based) students, depending on the number of academic units in which each eligible student is enrolled,” the district said.

The district said it will also “relieve $678,000 in outstanding student debt incurred as a result of the pandemic for a total of 3,719 students between the summer 2020 and summer 2021 academic terms.”  The average per student debt is $182 and relieving it will enable students to register for classes for future semesters without any holds on their records, the district said.

“We are proud that, for the third time, we are allocating more than the minimum required by the federal COVID-19 relief funds program, to directly support students.” SMCCCD Chancellor Michael Claire said in a statement. “This round of federal funding allows us to put much-needed financial resources directly in the hands of students and also clear them of unintended debts at our colleges that have occurred during this extraordinary time.”