A majority of students attending Northeast Community College this fall will receive a large financial boost to help offset the price tag.

College officials have announced several new financial aid resources to assist students, according to a Northeast media release. The aid is on top of Pell Grants and other scholarships that students may have already received.

The college also is implementing a one-time debt forgiveness program for students who have been unable to re-enroll due to past debt owed to the institution.

“There has never been a better time to attend college and earn the skills to advance your career,” said Leah Barrett, Northeast president. “Our vision is to empower every person in our region to achieve their academic and workforce goals. These funds will go far toward removing financial barriers that exist for students.”

Northeast will use its student aid and most of its institutional allocation from the federal government to ensure that enrolled students have enough resources to attend during the next academic year.

More than 80% of students who applied for the FAFSA are expected to be eligible to receive the financial resources provided through the American Rescue Plan Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

The funds will go toward assisting students affected by the pandemic. The college will provide any eligible student attending with an expected family contribution of $15,000 or less with a grant of up to $2,500, which is equivalent of two-thirds of the cost of tuition and fees for the entire academic year.

Funds may be used to cover any part of the cost of attendance, including tuition, housing, food, health care and child care.

Amanda Nipp, vice president of student services, said the pandemic has affected many students negatively, and these funds are intended to help them get back on their feet.

Two additional funds that are still available to assist students in the fall 2021 semester are the College Access Scholarship and the Nebraska Career Scholarship.

The College Access program will be available to help enroll low-income, underserved students. This scholarship is made possible by a $15 million gift from author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. The college expects to assist approximately 40 students in the upcoming academic year with the full cost of tuition and fees and $1,000 for books.

Nebraska Career Scholarship funds became available through an appropriation by the Nebraska Legislature. The program is intended to increase the number of graduates in the high-demand, high-wage programs. The scholarship covers all tuition, fees and books and are also awarded on a first-come, first serve basis.

All scholarship applications and information about the requirements for debt forgiveness are available online at northeast.edu/tuition-relief.

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