Over $1 million student debt forgiven at one Mid-South college

Memphis, Tenn. — Southwest Tennessee Community College paid more than $1.8 million to dismiss outstanding balances for some students, according to a release.

The college cleared balances for more than 1,600 eligible students who were hit hard by the pandemic.

According to a release, eligible students who attended during spring 2020, summer 2020, and fall 2020 semesters were all covered.

Southwest funded the unprecedented debt-relief package with U.S. Department of Education Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds, according to a release.

“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,” said a spokesperson.

The school is using lost revenue funds given to them by the American Rescue Plan Act to help students overcome the debt sustained during the pandemic.

“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,” President Hall said. “We are truly grateful and elated to be able to help our students in such a meaningful way.”