To assist students who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) will be using more than half of the funds it has received from the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), which was authorized in American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, to clear debt owed by students incurred during the pandemic and to provide assistance to defray costs for attending college.
“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.” said SMCCCD Chancellor Michael Claire. “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.”
The SMCCCD’s three colleges – Cañada College, College of San Mateo and Skyline College – have collectively been allocated $23,248,192 from the recent (third) round HEERF, nearly $12 million of which will go directly to student aid and more than $700,000 to student debt relief. 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 SMCCCD will 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. By relieving this debt, students will be able to register for classes for future semesters and will not have any holds on their records.