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Pima Community College Using Federal Funds To Pay Off Student Debt

Pima Community College is using federal COVID-19 relief dollars  to pay nearly $3 million in debtincurred by more than 4,500 students.

PCC students who were actively enrolled on or after March 13, 2020, and had outstanding balances from then to this summer qualified for the aid, said Norma Navarro-Castellanos, the college’s executive director of financial aid and scholarships. Students need to pay off their debt to the college before they can enroll in classes and access their transcripts or certificates. 

“We had this student who when she got this news, immediately as she saw those holds be lifted, she was elated ‘cause she was like, ‘Now I can go back on track and transfer to the university this spring semester,'" Navarro-Castellanos said. 

This also helps students who need to obtain their transcript or their certificate to transfer to another school or get a job. 

PCC will evaluate whether it can help more students at the end of the fall semester, Navarro-Castellanos said. 

Rocio Hernandez was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2022.