More higher education institutions are zeroing student account balances through the $40 billion Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). This week, several schools have announced new efforts to provide students with financial relief from the coronavirus pandemic.
North Carolina Central University (NCCU), a historically Black college and university (HBCU), cleared more than $10 million in outstanding tuition and fees and waived costs for its summer session for more than 5,200 students, the school announced on Friday.
Approximately 25 percent of NCCU’s enrolled students for the 2020-2021 year received financial assistance through HEERF and funds were prioritized for those with the most financial need, according to a press release.
“Receiving funding for spring and summer 2021 has allowed me to continue in my college education and relieve my mother from paying thousands of dollars in college tuition,” Tahira A. Hyman, a senior NCCU nutrition and dietetics student, said in a statement. “To me, that meant the world to not have the cost of my education be a burden on my parent.”
On Wednesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced a new program to eliminate up to $125 million in debt for at least 50,000 City University of New York (CUNY) students. The initiative, called the CUNY Comeback Program, will provide relief to students who suffered financially during the pandemic by eliminating unpaid debt and tuition fees or providing emergency grants.
“This landmark new program eliminates millions of dollars in unpaid debt, providing much-needed relief to tens of thousands of CUNY students as they work to get back on their feet after the pandemic and plan for their futures,” Cuomo stated.
Two Georgia HBCUs, Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University, announced earlier this week that they will cancelf their student account balances.
HEERF is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was included in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to help students in need. The CARES Act is currently set to be extended through September 2023.