MCC creates program to forgive $500 of student debt for former students

Posted at 7:32 PM, Nov 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-09 20:32:30-05

McLennan Community College's Board of Trustees just approved the "Highlander Restart Program" which would allow students who had to drop out due to financial reasons the ability to start again, with some loan forgiveness.

Its not easy being a college student. Juggling classes, work, and other responsibilities can be challenging, but many students also deal with the lingering worry of debt and how they are going to be able to afford classes.

“We’re getting a lot of money put towards our classes. Well, say we don’t pass a class, that’s money lost out of our pockets, or money out of the state’s pockets that we cant pay back,” said current student, Jody Michael.

“We’d been thinking about this for a while now, then when COVID-19 hit, we thought with the economic impact of the virus, this might be a perfect time to do something that could help some of our former students,”said MCC Vice President of Finance & Administration, Dr. Stephen Benson.

The Highlander Restart Program was created to allow former MCC students who dropped out of the college and still have an outstanding balance to get back to school, but with $500 less of their student debt owed.

“When they come back, they can pay their debt down to $500. They can finish their degree, and as soon as they finish we will waive that final $500 balance. For instance, if a student owes $700, they could pay $200 and they would get their balance down to $500. They could return, take their classes, and that final $500 would be waived,”said Dr. Benson.

In order to qualify, students will have to follow certain requirements like being enrolled in at least 6 credit hours per semester, maintain a 2.0 GPA, as well as be monitored by the Student Success staff.

“Concerning the pandemic, they are really observing, and in class they do really well, so I really appreciate them bringing about the financial aid. It’s really amazing, and I thank the administration,”said student, Adison Cheiuiyot.

“I definitely love it here. You meet all kinds of people. If you need help. There is people you can go to and they will help you to make sure that you can do what you want to be able to do with life,” said student, Deborah Bruner.

Dr. Benson told 25 News that if a student is interested in applying, to can contact the administration office to see if they qualify.