Mississippi community college offering free summer tuition

Published 6:28 am Sunday, April 4, 2021

A community college in Mississippi is making it easier for students to take classes this summer.

Northeast Mississippi Community College plans to use money left over from COVID-19 relief funds to offer free tuition for all students, WCBI-TV reported.

The college’s president, Dr. Ricky Ford, said the college was looking for ways to help students with federal dollars from the CARES Act, which established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. Colleges can only spend the money on COVID-related expenses.

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“We purchased disinfecting equipment, masks, hand sanitizers, created situations where our classes would have spacing involved in it, so anything COVID related we have used to spend it on, then of the money given to each institution of higher education, a certain amount of that money, usually 50%, is required to go toward students,” Ford said.

NEMCC is able to use those dollars to fund the tuition free program.

“You can come to Northeast Mississippi Community College, get free tuition, free room and board and then if you do not stay in the dorm, you get living expense money you can use to pay for your gas and those type of things, so this is taking federal tax dollars and putting it to work with our students,” Ford said.

The money is available to students taking anywhere from three to 12 credit hours during the summer session. Grants are also available to dual enrollment students.

NEMCC expects a big response from current and prospective students to its tuition free summer school, with summer sessions beginning June 1 and July 5. The deadline to apply is noon, May 14.

Like most college students, Iveyana Smith said being able to attend school, tuition free, would make a big difference.

“As a student, having free tuition it means less stress, less things you have to worry about, less things you have to worry about paying,” Smith said.

“I hope people take advantage of this opportunity,” she said.