Eimy González

Assistant editor

Madison College’s student debt has been written off, leaving thousands of students free from financial burdens and with the opportunity to regularly pursue their professional interests during the pandemic.

Any debt accumulated in a student’s account since spring 2020 has been canceled. This includes financial aid due after withdrawal due to the pandemic, costs for textbooks and computers, or any type of fees that a student may have accrued.

“We wanted to make sure that the students had nothing to stop them from continuing their education,” said Keyimani Alford, Dean of Student Access and Success.

Approximately $ 4 million was donated and a total of 5,232 students benefited.

In addition to debt cancellation, Madison College has provided its students with emergency funding as additional help to overcome these unprecedented financial hardships that many face. Although the college has its own emergency funding program, established before the pandemic, additional benefits have been provided by the Department of Education and the federal government.

The Cares Act allowed the school to pay out $ 2.75 million to emergency scholarship students during the 2020 spring semester and then again in the fall semester. In the spring of 2021, as an emergency federal grant, the college received $ 11 million to further support students.

Alford mentions that there are enough funds to continue helping students through fall 2021 and through spring 2022.

The way the benefits have been applied to student accounts is through automatic disbursement of these, primarily to students who have completed a FAFSA application. The submission of the FAFSA application was considered an automatic grant application, as it has become the primary form for identifying who is in need of funding.

For students who have not completed a FAFSA application or have not qualified, there is another process. The Student Access and Success team has developed a quick form to fill out. The only required fields are the full name, student ID number, number of credits and enrollment program, as well as the category in which the student needs help. The form takes approximately two to three days to process and will be available on the first day of class.

This brief submission form helps the school track students in need to provide the emergency grant they are entitled to. It is important to note that all Madison College students are eligible to receive this funding and can use this form to obtain them, US citizens and eligible non-citizens. The main requirement is to be listed for one or more credit.

A communication plan has been developed and students will not leave without knowing that this opportunity is available. A banner will be placed on the student site with information, an email will be sent to students, postcards will be sent to each household as a reminder, posters will be displayed on campuses and more. There will be a lot of help for anyone who is struggling to pay for their education.

Alford mentions that this is a unique opportunity, probably as part of his career, to have millions of dollars and to be able to support students and that it is important for them to make the most of it. .

It is money that can be used to dispose in an emergency, it is not taxable and it is accessible throughout the semester. Applications are reviewed weekly.

For any additional support, students can apply for scholarships as well as financial aid. There may be a misconception that they cannot qualify for financial aid, however, this is not always the case, and it is always worth giving it an opportunity.

“Students shouldn’t be ashamed to apply. We’re here to help them… we’re all in the pandemic and we’re here to support our students, ”Alford said.

For more information on student debt cancellation, you can visit https://madisoncollege.edu/about/news/college-erase-4-million-student-debt. For all information regarding Emergency Grants and how to apply, please visit https://students.madisoncollege.edu/emergency-funding. There is nothing wrong with receiving help in these difficult times, these resources are available and the college encourages their use.

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