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STC Board approves second round of debt relief for students

Debt discharge and another ‘free semester’ opportunity for students taken up during latest meeting with Trustees


At their regular meeting on Tuesday, South Texas College Board of Trustees approved the discharge of student debt for over 1,600 students during the summer 2020 to summer 2021 school terms totaling $803,937. Students can also look ahead to another “free semester” opportunity for the spring.

Spring 2022 is shaping up to be another landmark semester filled with excellent opportunities for all students.

Following a decision by South Texas College Board of Trustees on Tuesday, an estimated 1,655 students with unpaid balances from recent semesters will now have their debt burden to the college eliminated, paid on their behalf through the use of pandemic relief funds.

Trustees approved the discharge of student debt incurred during the period from summer 2020 to summer 2021.

  • Summer 2020 – 508 students $198,457
  • Fall 2020 – three students $1,873
  • Spring 2021 – 364 students $292,490
  • Summer 2021 – 780 students $311,117
  • Total – 1,655 students $803,937

At their regular meeting on Sept. 28, the STC Board approved utilizing funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to discharge over an estimated $800,000 in outstanding student balances.

HEERF Institutional Fund guidelines indicate the allotment of funds to reimburse sources of lost revenue, including unpaid student accounts.

Representatives from STC will directly notify students if their account qualifies for debt discharge.

STC will also extend its “Free Semester” opportunity for students for spring 2022.

This will enable students to receive $1,700 during the spring as long as they enroll. Current students who have already submitted a Free Semester application will not need to re-apply, but will have to enroll for classes for the spring 2022 semester to be eligible.

New students will need to submit a Free Semester application and enroll for classes. Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The average cost of tuition & fees (in-district) for 12 credit hours at STC is $1,662, but with the $1,700 award, the semester can be paid in full. Students can choose to receive the funds directly or have it applied directly to tuition and fees. 

“This is a great support for our current students as we have the financial help to keep them going in their studies through the spring semester,” said Matthew Hebbard, Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. “We encourage high school graduates and working adults to take advantage of the funds. This is the best time to come back to South Texas College.”

Spring registration opens Monday Oct. 4, and additional information regarding the free semester will be available at www.southtexascollege.edu starting next week.