New dollars help students cover the costs of college & relieve debts

Austin Community College District (ACC) has disbursed more than $1 million to help students pay for classes this summer. 

“As a single parent, working full time, and going to school, it’s helped me stay afloat as I navigate life,” says Brittany Ligon, ACC student and recipient. “Everyone deserves to be able to further their education whether it be for a better career or just for your personal goals. But not everyone can afford it. These opportunities help me keep food on the table and work toward my educational and career goals.”

Approximately $1 million of federal COVID-19 funds went to help students like Brittany who were impacted financially by the pandemic, and an additional $75,000 went to help forgive student debts at the college.

“Paying for college remains one of the top reasons students choose not to enroll in college. With the cost of living rapidly rising in Central Texas, it’s getting even harder. We want to make sure those in our community can continue to not only survive but thrive here,” says Dr. Melissa Curtis, associate vice chancellor of recruitment. “I am proud of the work we continue to do to remove financial barriers.”

Since the start of the pandemic, ACC has disbursed more than $58 million in Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) directly to students. To date, more than 16,420 students have received HEERF support. 

The college’s debt forgiveness program also cleared small debts and outstanding balances for more than 8,100 students. These students all previously owed $1,000 or less for things such as books and course fees — and their balance was wiped to $0, clearing the way for them to register for more classes.

To learn more and explore all financial aid options, visit