NORFOLK, Neb. – Northeast Community College is offering a one-time program to allow students who may have left before completing their degree or certificate, the opportunity to have their debt forgiven and come back to college. Northeast launched the program to help those with previous debt owed to the College as it often prevents students from re-enrolling from finishing their degree.
Students are eligible to participate in the program if they have a past due balance at Northeast Community College incurred prior to January 1, 2020; have not attended a credit course at Northeast after January 1, 2020; and must be a degree seeking student who will enroll in the Fall 2021 semester.
Amanda Nipp, vice president of student services, said by earning a degree, eligible students will be able remove an insurmountable obstacle in order to advance their career and obtain higher wages.
“By removing financial barriers, Northeast is giving students the opportunity to finish what they started,” Nipp said. “As things begin to look more promising after a year of dealing with the pandemic, the debt forgiveness program is being offered now to allow people to get a leg up if they were unable to finish their educational journey. Now they are being given another chance.”
Citing the five years between Fall 2015 and Fall 2019 as an example, approximately 470 Northeast students who each had an average amount of unpaid balance totaling $1,000 would qualify for the program. This program only forgives student debt owed to Northeast; it does not apply to student loans.
Nipp said a program such a debt forgiveness could also benefit area employers.
“Northeast understands our industry partners need more skilled workers. By removing this financial barrier for our students, this is another way we can help fill those demands.”
Debt forgiveness is not the only tuition relief measure Northeast has introduced recently to assist students to achieve their higher education goals.
The College is providing free tuition to students who enroll in summer credit classes. Also, students who enroll in classes beginning in fall 2021 will qualify for $2,500 in financial assistance through the American Rescue Plan Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.
In addition, the College Access program will be available to help enroll qualified low-income, underserved students with the full cost of tuition and fees and $1,000 for books. And Nebraska Career Scholarship funds, intended to increase the number of graduates in qualified high-demand, high-wage programs cover all tuition, fees and books and are also awarded on a first-come, first serve basis.
“It’s really a great time to go to college, especially Northeast,” Nipp said. “We have a lot of options to make college affordable right now for our students.”
Students interested in Northeast Community College’s Debt Forgiveness program must enroll by July 30, 2021, to qualify. To determine eligibility or to learn more about the program, visit, northeast.edu/financial-aid-and-scholarships/programs/debt-forgiveness or call (402) 844-7001.