College President Dr. Donald “Guy” Generals joined First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, other officials for the announcement
PHILADELPHIA – Community College of Philadelphia announced that it has been awarded an additional $5.2 million in Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) under the American Rescue Plan to support students who have been devastated by the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, the U.S. Department of Education announced the final $198 million in HEERF grants to assist students attending 244 community colleges and rural or minority-serving institutions.
For the announcement, College President Dr. Donald “Guy” Generals joined First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, American Rescue Plan Coordinator Gene Sperling, and leaders from Coahoma Community College and Southwestern Michigan College to highlight the positive impacts these grants have had on students and institutions.
“I was honored to join First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Secretary Cardona, and my colleagues at Coahoma Community College and Southwestern Michigan College to discuss how the use of federal funding allowed us to help offset some of the burden our students have been shouldering since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Dr. Generals. “So far, the College decided to use about $4.15 million in HEERF funding to forgive outstanding account balances for 5,400 students. This was not only the obvious decision to make, but the best one.”
Last July, the College announced that it had erased $2.75 million in outstanding account balances of nearly 3,500 students using federal funding. Last month, the College erased approximately $1.4 million in account balances for nearly 1,900 students using the funds.
During the event, attendees also heard from Tracie Johnson, a student at the College pursuing a Health Care Studies degree. Johnson is a 44-year-old Navy veteran and a mother of a young child who had a $1,300 outstanding balance erased by the College thanks to federal funding.
In addition to erasing student account balances, the College has distributed more than $42 million in federal funding since March 2020 to directly support students. More than 17,000 students have received direct student assistance grants for emergencies such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care), and child care. The College has also loaned more than 1,100 laptops to students since the beginning of the pandemic in addition to making investments in teacher trainings, technology enhancements, and upgrades to facilities for COVID-19 protections.
“There is no one-size-fits-all solution to these issues,” said Dr. Generals. “Only through intentional collaboration will we be able to eliminate the systemic barriers to college access and success. We are grateful for additional resources and supports, like the American Rescue Plan, as we all work together in service of our students, who deserve a quality education.”
The College has reaffirmed its committed to ensuring that students have access to support services on campus such as our Single Stop Office, our C-CAMPIS program, food pantry and community garden, counseling supports to help students overcome the emotional challenges associated with COVID-19, Shared Housing Program in partnership with the Philadelphia Housing Authority, and the Octavius Catto Scholarship in partnership with the City of Philadelphia, which allows eligible students to attend College tuition-free.
The first day of classes for the fall 2022 semester is Tuesday, Sept. 6. Information on registering for classes, including a course finder, can be found online.
About Community College of Philadelphia
Community College of Philadelphia is the largest public institution of higher education in the City of Philadelphia. With an open admissions policy, the College serves all who may benefit – regardless of age, income, or ability. For more than 50 years, the College has lived up to its mission and goals by providing educational access for over 700,000 Philadelphians, setting families, businesses and neighborhoods on the path of shared prosperity and opportunity. For information on the College's degree and certificate programs, workforce development strategies, and community engagement initiatives, visit ccp.edu and follow us on social media @CCPedu.