(From  The Anniston Star)


Talladega College and Central Alabama Community College have announced plans in a pair of news releases to clear debt for students.

For Talladega College, the school will clear $925,666 in debt for students with balances for the terms of spring 2020 through summer 2021, according to a news release.

With the clearance of balances, students will be able to have financial holds removed from their accounts which will allow them the opportunity to register for the fall 2021 semester at the college.

“The pandemic has resulted in a tremendous amount of grief for many families throughout this nation,” Dr. Billy C. Hawkins, president of Talladega College, said in a release. “It brings me joy to eliminate the stress of financial hardship that some of our students have been facing for over a year.”

The debt forgiveness does not impact a student’s current fees incurred from fall 2021 registration. Fall 2021 classes will begin Wednesday, and registration and academic advisement is available to all current and prospective students.

At CACC, a news release said the school will use special institutional funding received from the U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds from The American Rescue Plan (ARP) to forgive the balances of 102 students totaling $83,687.27.

“We are glad to be able to help our students with debt relief through this grant,” Jeff Lynn, president of CACC, said in the release.

“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 about $1.7 million additional HEERF stimulus payments to students in the coming academic year. Students who are enrolled and who qualify under the American Rescue Plan will receive these additional funds during the semesters 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. The college 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 the college to request these funds.

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