TCC uses federal funds to forgive outstanding balances on student accounts

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa Community College is using some of the federal funds from the COVID Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to help students with outstanding balances.

Students with outstanding balances who were enrolled on or after March 2020, as of July 2021, has been erased. Some students had debt as little as $150. Others had up to $6,000 in debt.

“The students who are eligible, and it includes more than 5,000 individuals, do not have to do anything to participate. We are simply telling them their past-due balances have been paid off which gives them a clean slate. By removing what had become a financial barrier, these students can remain on the path to a degree or return to TCC to complete their degree,” said Eileen Kenney, Associate vice president of enrollment and retention.

Nearly 40 percent of TCC students reported that their financial situation was worse than before the pandemic. Another 41 percent said they were struggling to pay for their courses.

The plan will use about $4 million in federal funds.

Those receiving the balance forgiveness will not have to fill out any forms. It will be processed automatically.

TCC has also received federal funds for Student Emergency Funds. That money will be used for grants to support students moving forward.