CCBC distributes millions to aide students struggling with higher education costs
Aug 24, 2021 | by Hope H. Davis | 443.840.5053 (office) | 410.971.5560 (cell)To ease student’s financial woes, Community College of Baltimore County has distributed approximately $14 million to students -- covering tuition, paying off outstanding balances and providing money for everyday expenses -- thanks to federal and state COVID stimulus funding. In the most recent round of American Rescue Plan funding, CCBC has earmarked an additional $27 million for distribution to students. It is CCBC President Sandra Kurtinitis’ commitment to go ‘above and beyond’ in allocating resources to students from monies received to help with COVID recovery efforts.
In spring 2020, more than 4,000 students withdrew from CCBC classes due to the challenge of remote learning. Recognizing the struggle, the college utilized stimulus funding to allow students to retake the course in a later semester. CCBC also pooled funding during the pandemic’s onset -- stimulus funds, financial aid, scholarships and grants – to offer students a tuition-free opportunity. That resulted in more than 80% of students receiving full or partial tuition and it’s a strategy that continues today as CCBC approaches the fall 2021 semester.
President Kurtinitis recalled the immediate devastation caused by the pandemic saying, “Drastic action was necessary, and we had to act quickly.” According to President Kurtinitis, the American Rescue Plan funding was a lifesaver for the college and the students. “We decided if we invested this money in students, they would invest in themselves by recommitting to their education.”
To further help students, CCBC utilized stimulus funding to create Second Chance Grants eliminating outstanding tuition balances totaling $2,181,181 for 2,000 summer and fall 2020 students. An additional $833,956 was used to cover outstanding balances of 2,000 more students from the spring semester of 2021.
“Providing students with funding was the easy part,” said President Kurtinitis. “Ensuring that they were successful was a more difficult task. That’s why we found a way to keep our campuses open, throughout the pandemic, offering a portion of on-site classes and services in a COVID safe environment. I felt we owed that to our students who didn’t have the resources or home environment to be successful fully online.”
Students enrolled in academic degree programs were not the only ones to benefit from the distribution of stimulus funds. Those seeking certificates that could easily allow them to enter the workforce and gain well-paying jobs experienced financial relief too. Most were able to take classes at no cost.
“As we continue to navigate through the pandemic, the road to economic recovery in the Baltimore region flows right through CCBC’s front door,” said President Kurtinitis. “This institution will continue to be a driving force in workforce development and job readiness to prepare students and workers for the higher paying jobs of tomorrow.”
About the Community College of Baltimore County (www.ccbcmd.edu)
Since 1957, CCBC has opened the doors to accessible, affordable, high-quality education empowering generations of area residents to transform their lives and the lives of others. Each year, nearly 50,000 students enroll at the college’s main campuses, extension centers and online to make their starts, earn degrees, launch and build careers. CCBC offers the region’s most expansive selection of degree, certificate and workplace certification programs that prepare students for transfer, job entry and career advancement in such industries as business, education, health care, information technology, cybersecurity, construction and transportation. Designated as the “Best Community College” among the Maryland Daily Record’s 2020 Reader Rankings, CCBC is also nationally recognized as a leader in innovative learning strategies and among the nation’s top associate degree producers.
CCBC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.