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Oklahoma City Community College Forgives Nearly $4 Million in Student Debt

·2 min read

OCCC May 2022 Commencement Ceremony

Oklahoma City Community College students participate in the May 2022 graduation ceremony
Oklahoma City Community College students participate in the May 2022 graduation ceremony

OCCC May 2022 Commencement Ceremony

An Oklahoma City Community College student celebrates at the May 2022 Commencement ceremony.
An Oklahoma City Community College student celebrates at the May 2022 Commencement ceremony.

Oklahoma City, Okla., July 20, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) President Dr. Mautra Staley Jones announced that the college has forgiven nearly $4 million in student debt using COVID-19 relief funds for its Fresh Start Initiative, which impacts more than 4,500 OCCC students. 

“The pandemic affected our students and their families in various ways, and we recognize that many are still facing hardships in the aftermath,” Jones said. “OCCC is an institution of new beginnings, and this initiative truly gives our students a fresh start. We hope this clears the way for them to continue their educational journey in the fall.” 

OCCC has already distributed about $17 million from the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to students in the form of emergency financial aid grants. Even after the distribution of those grants, thousands of OCCC students continued to owe tuition and fees incurred during the pandemic. 

The Fresh Start Initiative applies to more than 4,500 students enrolled during any semester between Spring 2020 and Spring 2022 who had an outstanding OCCC student account balance as of July 15, 2022 from any of those semesters. The total debt cleared for this initiative was nearly $4 million. 

The goal of the Fresh Start Initiative is to reduce the negative impact of the pandemic on OCCC students and their families, relieve students of enrollment debt, and provide an opportunity to pursue and complete educational goals. 

For more details on the Fresh Start Initiative, visit OCCC's website http://occc.edu/fsi.

About Oklahoma City Community College
Celebrating 50 years of providing unique educational opportunities for students in 2022, Oklahoma City Community College serves students preparing for college, working toward a degree or certificate or taking classes for personal enrichment. Approximately 17,000 students take courses offering college credit in more than 60 associate degree or certificate programs that lead to continued education at a four-year institution or entry into the workforce upon graduation. For more information, visit occc.edu.

Attachments

CONTACT: Kim Terry Oklahoma City Community College 405-503-9220 Kim.Terry@occc.edu Cheena Pazzo ONE 80 PR 918-625-1937 cheena@one80.us