More than 4,200 students with Southwestern College in San Diego will have their outstanding student debts forgiven -- totaling $1.5 million -- thanks to federal COVID-19 relief funds, the college announced Thursday.
Students enrolled for classes during the Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 semesters will have all of their tuition and enrollment fees forgiven. Holds that haven't been paid will be forgiven, allowing students to re-enroll in classes.
"Southwestern College is making a significant commitment to support our students by directly investing in them," said Mark Sanchez, Southwestern College superintendent and president. "We understand that students have faced financial barriers because of the COVID-19 pandemic, therefore, the work of the college is to remove these barriers, creating a clear pathway for student re-enrollment and pursuit of their goals at Southwestern College."
Southwestern College said the funding for the student debt forgiveness came from the federal American Rescue Plan Act, a stimulus package to aid in the country's COVID-19 response. Colleges and universities received the aid to support students and on-campus operations.
Southwestern College said they will reinvest the funds into students, particularly those who have faced financial hardships because of the COVID-19 pandemic.