Thousands of Tulsa Community College students who owe money to the school will have their balances forgiven.
Ultimately this about getting degrees, but that was tough during the worst of the pandemic when the school said students had to choose between enrolling for class and paying bills.
TCC said 41% of its students are struggling to pay for college and another 40% said they're in a worse financial situation after the pandemic.
Morgan Kline-Carter is one of those students. Until now, she said going back to school wasn't really an option.
“It was just a bunch of, 'What ifs,' or 'What can I do?' or 'How can I get this done?' and then and finally I got that email, and I was just like, ‘That’s my golden ticket. I can go back!’” she said.
For Kline-Carter, that golden ticket is more than $2,000 in debt being paid off by federal funding given to TCC.
“I immediately just sent the message to my grandparents, and I was like, ‘Look at this, I can go back to school, they’re paying it off for me!’ and I was super, super happy,” Kline-Carter said.
TCC's Vice President of Student Success and Equity Eunice Tarver said Kline-Carter is one of 5,000 students who've had their debt paid off.
“There are students that are so close. But something like a $1,000 can prevent them from being able to go over and go ahead and finish what they started," Tarver said.
Students don't need to apply. TCC is automatically paying off debt from the eligible students, who had to be enrolled any time after March 13th of 2020 through the spring of 2021.
The payoff will go towards balances accrued during the Spring 2020 through Spring 2021 semesters.
“The students who are eligible, and it includes more than 5,000 individuals, do not have to do anything to participate. We are simply telling them their past-due balances have been paid off which gives them a clean slate. By removing what had become a financial barrier, these students can remain on the path to a degree or return to TCC to complete their degree,” said Eileen Kenney, Associate Vice President of enrollment and retention.
If anyone has a question about whether they qualify, they should contact the Bursar at firstname.lastname@example.org with their name and TCC student ID number.