A new debt scholarship program is helping eligible Milwaukee Area Technical College students repay past-due balances in an effort to get students to finish degrees.
MATC announced the program on Monday. The scholarship is available to eligible returning students and can help them repay up to $1,500 of past-due balances on expenses such as tuition, books and more.
The MATC ReStart program, which launched for the spring semester, helped 56 qualified students return to continue finishing their degree. The program is offered to returning students who last attended MATC between fall 2009 and spring 2018 and who have existing balances of $1,500 or less. Students earn up to $500 a semester in scholarships to repay the debt each semester they are enrolled in up to three.
“Our research showed that many students were unable to finish their academic programs due to relatively modest debt owed the college,” said Dr. Vicki J. Martin, MATC president, in a press release. “MATC degrees and diplomas help individuals gain jobs that earn family-sustaining wages. We want to remove the barriers blocking our students from finishing college. Along with programs like our tuition-free MATC Promise, we believe MATC ReStart could make a crucial difference in changing lives for the better, especially in this time of economic distress caused by the pandemic.”
The college says there are nearly 7,000 students who fit into the program's criteria for the fall semester. Students who believe they fit into the program's criteria should apply by July 17 and fill out a FAFSA or create a payment plan. Students eligible for the program must have completed six credits at MATC but not have earned an associate's degree and enroll in at least six credits for the fall 2020 semester.
To learn more about the program, click here.