More county colleges are scratching student debt in large numbers by using federal relief funding awarded because of the coronavirus pandemic.

For 540 qualified students at Camden County College, the balance for spring, summer and fall 2020 schooling has been reduced to $0, the institution announced Thursday.

CCC was able to allocate $478,619 of CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding to make the move possible.

"We want to use all of the resources that are available to us to benefit our students and eliminate any barrier that may be keeping them from continuing to pursue their academic goals," said CCC President Donald Borden. "The ongoing pandemic has presented us all with numerous challenges. This is one financial challenge that we can help our students overcome in order to get their education back on track."

According to an announcement made Thursday by Mercer County Community College, the college has forgiven nearly $5 million in "qualified balances such as tuition, fees and other costs" to students enrolled over the past 16 months.

And more student debt forgiveness, about $6 million worth, is on the way at MCCC.

Monetary assistance is going to students who demonstrate exceptional need, MCCC said. To be considered for award funding, students must be registered for classes, live and/or online, during the fall 2021 semester.

A number of community colleges have announced debt forgiveness initiatives and results over the past several days, including Middlesex College, Bergen Community College, Hudson County Community College, Raritan Valley Community College, and Salem Community College.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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