BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Students at New River Community and Technical College were pleasantly surprised as the college announced they would be paying off $400,000 in student debt.
The money came from the American Rescue Plan, signed into law back in March of this year. Designed to mitigate the financial hardships from the pandemic, it gave federal funding to various groups, including colleges.
“With the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, New River Community and Technical College has been able to help students,” Communications Director Jenni Canterbury said. “We’re looking at nearly two years now. The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging, not just for our students, but for our area and people across the world.”
Students from the fall 2021 term had their outstanding balances with the college completely paid off. As well, students from the previous five terms, dating back to the spring of 2020, also had their balances paid off using the federal funding.
“We’ve been able to help our students that had unpaid balances on their accounts. We actually went back five semesters and paid off balances for students.”
Since last year, New River CTC has used federal emergency funds, and given out more than $688,000 to students either in the form of direct payments or balance forgiveness.