MCCC Wipes Out Millions In Student Debt


WEST WINDSOR Mercer County Community College (MCCC) is on a mission to remove financial barriers to encourage students to stay in college. Over the past 16 months the college has forgiven nearly $5 million in qualified balances such as tuition, fees and other costs to students enrolled during the pandemic. 

“Mercer has helped literally thousands of overburdened students who were carrying tuition debt and other college-related expenses on their shoulders during COVID-19,” said Mark Banyacski, controller at Mercer County Community College.

The college received the initial round of nearly $2 million in federal funding last year through the federal government’s Higher Education Relief Fund of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), also known as the CARES Act.

“Mercer received the federal funding around the middle of May 2020 and within ten days we had checks in the mail to students,” Banyacski remarked. 

Since then, MCCC has received two more rounds of federal funds— the latest through the third iteration of the CARES Act called the American Rescue Plan (ARP) — and has since dispersed another $3 million in debt forgiveness. The funds were earmarked to pay expenses from the spring, summer and fall semesters of 2020 and the spring and summer semesters of 2021.

“The fund disbursements help encourage Mercer students to stay in school during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Savita Bambhrolia, dean of student enrollment and student experience at MCCC. “We want to support our students so they can focus and feel confident about earning their degrees during these difficult times.”

Debt forgiveness at Mercer is not based on academic excellence or performance. The monetary assistance is targeted to those students who demonstrate exceptional need.

More student debt forgiveness is on the way at MCCC according to college officials — about $6 million worth.

To be considered for award funding, students must be registered for classes during the Fall 2021 semester. Those classes may be in person or online or a combination of both. 

Bambhrolia said, “The process requires an application that takes into account not only tuition and fees, but expenses such as food, housing, technology, transportation, child care and medical expenses.”

For more information about eligibility and deadlines, visit

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Established in 1966, Mercer County Community College (MCCC) is a publicly supported comprehensive educational institution that provides opportunities for higher education through an open-door admission policy. MCCC is home to 70 associate degree programs and numerous credit and noncredit certificate programs. The college also offers many educational experiences, leadership opportunities and the chance to interact with other students and faculty/staff members in an informal setting. For information about attending Mercer County Community College visit



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Over the past sixteen months, Mercer County Community College in West Windsor, New Jersey has forgiven nearly $5 million in qualified balances such as tuition, fees and other costs to students enrolled during the pandemic. To learn what  Mercer County Community College has to offer visit For updates on the federal funding initiative go to (Photo credit: Shutterstock)