WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - A lot of Polk State College students just got an unexpected early Christmas present. On Friday, the college announced that is forgiving 1,300 student loans, covering a variety of expenses from tuition to books to lab fees.
"That’s a huge weight off my shoulders," said Angela Maldonado, who is taking classes and working a part-time job in the Financial Aid Office of the college.
Even though Maldonado only owed the school $127, other students owed much more. One student owed $17,000 on their loan.
Big or small, they are all now paid off with $1.2 million of COVID-19 relief money the college received from the federal government.
"What a gift to students, to their families, to their friends, to their loved ones, to be able to have a gift of an education, and to be able to have any kind of debt forgiven," said Polk State President Angela Garcia Falconetti.
Not all students at Polk State qualified. They had to be enrolled from between the official start of the pandemic, last March, and June of this year.