Santa Barbara City College used $1 million of federal stimulus funds to erase student debt for current and former students.
Thanks to SBCC’s Fresh Start Initiative and the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, approximately 1,800 students enrolled during the pandemic have received some form of debt relief.
Through the Fresh Start Initiative, students enrolled in spring 2020 through spring 2021 terms were provided with funds to pay off their entire outstanding balance.
Students who left prior to the pandemic who are attempting to re-enroll with a previous outstanding balance were also provided with Fresh Start monies.
“The responses we received from our students were filled with hope and gratitude for how we’ve provided access to their future opportunities by paying off their balances,” SBCC Student Finance Manager Nicole Hubert said in a news release. “It was a unique and incredible experience for my staff and I to provide a fresh start to our students.”
HEERF grants were part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act passed by Congress in March 2020.
SBCC has distributed more than $8 million to nearly 5,000 students through CARES/HEERF funds since the start of the pandemic.
Students will have the opportunity to apply for another round of grants early in the spring semester.
The latest information regarding grants can be found at sbcc.edu/fiscalservices/cashier/freshstartinitiative.php.