Photo courtesy EPCC
Thanks to the Federal Government, officials with El Paso Community College were able to erase debt owed to the college for students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to EPCC officials, more than $3 million of debt students owed to EPCC was cleared for students using federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF).
EPCC’s New Beginnings Program eliminated outstanding balances for around 4,700 students who were enrolled during the pandemic in Spring, Summer and Fall of 2020 and the Spring of 2021.
Students with outstanding debt to EPCC who were enrolled during the pandemic and who qualified for this program have already had their balances erased and business holds removed from their accounts automatically.
Eligible students have been emailed and will also receive a letter informing them of this program. No application is necessary and students who are eligible can log into their account and will see the balance and business hold has been removed.
From food insecurity, to a broken-down car that keeps them from getting to class, or finding money to pay for tuition, students often face multiple challenges when it comes to completing their degree which was further magnified because of the pandemic.
EPCC students have been adversely affected by the pandemic and we want them to be able to stay on their path to completing their degree,” Keri Moe, associate vice president of External Relations, Communication & Development said. “We want to help students find the resources to emerge from the pandemic, regain financial stability and to be able to continue to pursue their dreams.”
Throughout the pandemic, the college has been committed to assisting students. By transitioning courses online, providing laptops and hotspots, along with increased support services, EPCC has been focused helping students succeed despite difficult times.
In partnership with the Foundation for EPCC, the StayStrong Emergency Fund was created, the college has distributed federal and other grant funding to aid students with basic expenses like childcare, utilities, transportation and other basic needs.
Officials with EPCC say the college will play a key role in helping our region emerge and recover from the pandemic.
“EPCC is committed to helping students stay focused on their goals and success,” Fernie Flores, Associate Vice President of Budget & Financial Services said. “By utilizing this federal funding to forgive student debt to the college incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, students are able to get a fresh start, resume their studies and improve their lives.”
For questions about the college’s New Beginnings Program, contact the Accounts Receivable Virtual Office by clicking here and choose “Accounts Receivable” from the drop-down menu.
Students enrolled in the fall semester may also be eligible to receive an ARPA Grant; click here to apply.