DENMARK -- Denmark Technical College announced Friday that it will forgive all outstanding balances for students who have been enrolled at any point since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.
"We are elated to have the opportunity to use our resources to wipe the financial slate clean for our students, many of whom have faced additional hardships while attending college during the COVID-19 pandemic. We care deeply about our students and want them to be able to move forward in pursuing their education without the added burden of having to pay off balances from recent semesters," said Dr. Willie L. Todd Jr., president and CEO of Denmark Tech.
"Our students' academic success is of the utmost importance. Relieving them of these balances will allow them to keep their eyes on the prize, without having to take time off from college as they work down balances," said Dr. A. Clifton Myles, executive vice president for administration and innovation and chief strategy officer.
The historically Black college, located in rural Bamberg County, says it is dedicated to helping students overcome the challenges they face.
"The debt forgiveness program will keep students in the area and on-campus, so they can finish their education and forge onward towards a better life," added Todd. "Like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'The time is always right to do the right thing'. This is 100% the right thing to do for our students and I, for one, am ecstatic that we can remove some of the weight they are carrying as they look toward the future."
All balances incurred during the spring, summer or fall of 2020 or the spring or summer of 2021 semesters will be forgiven, college officials stated. There are no conditions attached to the debt forgiveness, and students will not be required to enroll in future semesters to take advantage of the program.
"On top of the devastating physical consequences of COVID-19, students at technical colleges have been disproportionately affected by the financial ravages of the pandemic. Many of our students already face a myriad of financial difficulties such as food and housing insecurity, inability to find employment and transportation woes. COVID-19 compounded those challenges. I'm excited that we are able to offer students this relief so they can continue the forward momentum they need to reach their educational, career and financial goals," said Clarence Bonnette, vice president for fiscal affairs.
Denmark Tech announced earlier this spring that it would offer free tuition for the first 500 new, returning or current students to register.
Students with questions about debt forgiveness can contact the Denmark Tech business office at 803-793-5121. Anyone interested in learning more about free tuition can visit denmarktech.edu/freetuition.