Community College of Philadelphia offers to pay outstanding balances for many of its students

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Community College of Philadelphia is using coronavirus relief money to pay off outstanding balances for as many as 3,500 students.

The $2.75 million of federal CARES Act money will go toward bookstore fees and tuition balances for students who were enrolled between March 2020 and the spring of this year.

“Through no fault of their own, the pandemic knocked a lot of students off their track,” said CCP President Donald “Guy” Generals, noting CCP’s enrollment has also suffered. “We’re down about 24%. About 2,500 students decided not to come back.”

CCP received about $105 million in CARES Act relief. Generals said the money that will pay off students’ debts comes from funds designated for the college itself, not from money designated for tuition relief.

“We’ve decided that the best way to use those dollars to help the institution would be to help students,” Generals added. “Our association of community colleges have said all along, what we need is revenue relief from the pandemic because so many students were dropping out.”

Generals said students may also apply directly for a $50 million pot of federal relief funds to pay for housing or child care costs affected by the pandemic.​