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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

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Southwest wipes out $1.8 million in debt for hundreds hit by the pandemic

Southwest Tennessee Community College has paid more than $1.8 million to clear outstanding balances for more than 1,600 eligible students who attended during the Spring 2020, Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 semesters.

The debt-relief package was funded with U.S. Department of Education Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds.

Students do not have to repay the relief funds.

“Our students were hit particularly hard by the pandemic and many of them had to leave college abruptly,” Dr. Tracy D. Hall, president of Southwest Tennessee Community College said.

“Wiping the slate clean clears a path for them to come back and move forward with their goals and career aspirations.”

Earning a college credential is “transformative for our students and removing this financial barrier to their success is the best use of COVID-19 relief funds,” Hall said. “We are truly grateful and elated to be able to help our students in such a meaningful way.”

Southwest is allocating the federal relief dollars in accordance with U.S. Department of Education guidelines that require funds to be used to assist with any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care), or childcare.

Students can log into the My.Southwest portal to view their account balance to determine whether they were provided debt relief.

Former students, who want to inquire about their eligibility for debt forgiveness, should call 901-333-5292. Or, email Cares@southwest.tn.edu.

Southwest returned to full on-campus operations Aug. 2. Fall classes begin Aug. 23.


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