Financial relief for all Madison College students

Eimy Gonzalez 

Assistant Editor 

Madison College student debt has been forgiven, leaving thousands of students free of financial burden and with the opportunity to pursue their career interests steadily during the pandemic.  

 Any debt accumulated within a student’s account, since Spring of 2020, has been waived. This includes financial aid owed after withdrawing due to the pandemic, textbook and computer charges, or any type of fee that a student may have accumulated. 

“We wanted to ensure that students didn’t have anything that would be blocking them from continuing their studies,” said Keyimani Alford, Dean of Student Access and Success. 

Roughly $4 million has been forgiven and a total of 5,232 students have benefitted.  

In addition to the debt forgiveness, Madison College has granted its students emergency funding as an additional help through this unprecedented financial hardship, many are facing. While the college counts with their own emergency funding program, established prior to the pandemic, additional benefits have been bestowed by the department of education and the federal government. 

The Cares Act enabled the school to disburse $2.75 million to students in emergency grants during the spring semester of 2020 and then again during the fall semester. During the spring of 2021, as an emergency federal grant, the college received 11 million dollars to further support students.  

Alford mentions that there is enough funding to continue to help students for fall of 2021 and well into spring of 2022. 

The way in which benefits have been applied to the student’s accounts is by an automatic disbursement of them, primarily to students who filled out a FAFSA application. The submission of the FAFSA application was considered as an automatic application to the grant, since it became the major form to identify who is experiencing a need for funding.  

For students who have not completed a FAFSA application, or who did not qualify, there is another process. The team of Student Access and Success has developed a quick form to fill out. The only required fields are the full name, student ID number, number of credits and program enrolled in, as well as the category that the student needs support in. The form takes about two to three days to be processed and will be available on the first day of class.  

This brief form submission helps the school keep track of the students in need to deliver the emergency grant they are entitled to. It is important to note that all Madison College students are eligible to receive this funding and can utilize this form to obtain them, U.S citizens and eligible non-citizens alike. The main requirement is to be enrolled in one credit or more.  

A communication plan has been developed and students will not go without knowing that this opportunity is available. A banner will be placed on the student website with information, an email will be sent out to students, postcards will be mailed to each household as a reminder, posters will be spread throughout the campuses and more. There will be plenty of help for anyone struggling to afford their education.  

Alford makes mention that it is a one-time opportunity, probably within their career, to have millions of dollars and be able to support students and it is important for them to make the most of it.  

This is money that can be used to dispose of in case of an emergency, it is not taxable, and it can be accessed throughout the semester. Applications are reviewed every week.  

For any additional support, students can apply for scholarships as well as financial aid. There may be a misconception that they may not qualify for financial aid, however, that isn’t always the case, and it is always worth giving it an opportunity.  

“Students should not be ashamed to apply. We are here to help assist them…we are all in the pandemic and we are here to support our students,” says Alford.  

For more information regarding the student debt forgiveness, you can visit https://madisoncollege.edu/about/news/college-erase-4-million-student-debt. For any information regarding the emergency grants and how to apply, please visit https://students.madisoncollege.edu/emergency-funding. There is nothing wrong with receiving assistance throughout these challenging times, these resources are available, and the college encourages them to be utilized.