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The San Mateo County Community College District is using federal funding to provide student debt relief and financial aid to students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The three colleges of the district collectively received over $23 million through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. This is the third round of higher education funding for the college district, which includes Cañada College, College of San Mateo and Skyline College.

Just over half of those relief funds, or almost $13 million, will go towards helping students, as the program requires institutions to allocate at least half of funding towards student aid.

Almost $12 million will go towards direct student aid, with students receiving between $1,250 and $2,750, depending on whether they are eligible for Pell Grants and how many academic units they’re enrolled in.

Another $678,000 is earmarked to help pay outstanding student debt incurred during the pandemic, between the summer 2020 and summer 2021 academic terms. The student debt relief will help 3,719 students, providing $182 each of debt relief.

Founded in 1922, the district’s three colleges enroll about 45,000 students annually, according to its website. The colleges are located in Redwood City, San Bruno and San Mateo.