HARTFORD, Ct. (WFSB) - Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) President Terrence Cheng announced on July, 20 that debt which community college students took on or could not repay because of the pandemic will be forgiven. 

The debt will be paid with federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) money and impacts all account balances from the summer 2019 through spring 2021 semesters.

“Community college students have been hit especially hard by COVID-19,” President Cheng said. “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.”

18,161 current and former students will have some or all of their debt erased. 

There are no conditions attached, and students are not required to enroll in classes in any future semesters.

“The economic aftermath of COVID-19 disproportionately harmed community college students,” said Dr. Jane Gates, CSCU’s provost and senior vice president of academic and student affairs. “They lost jobs, suffered food insecurity, and lacked access to vital services – to say nothing of the devastating harm caused to those afflicted with the virus. It is no wonder that so many students saw the debt they owed to our colleges pile up. I am thrilled that we are taking action today. It will not only give many of our students some peace of mind, it will also allow them to enroll in classes for the fall without worrying about registration holds.”

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