San Joaquin Delta College will eliminate more than $3.6 million in student debt for current and former students, officials said.

In December, the community college’s board of trustees voted to eliminate student debt by using funds from federal COVID relief dollars.

The college has not released a date for when the debts will be officially cleared from students’ accounts, but no action is required by students.

“We are hoping that this investment will make it possible for students to return to school and remain in school which will in turn create better lives for all in our community,” said San Joaquin Community College District Board of Trustees President Charles Jennings.

More students are having difficulties attending school due to financial hardships, according to Delta College.

In a recent survey distributed by the college, more than 60 percent of Delta’s students reported that they were struggling to meet one or more of their basic needs, despite the college distributing approximately $45 million in financial aid each year.

“I’m grateful to Delta’s Board of Trustees for taking this action and for putting students first,” said Acting Superintendent/President Lisa Aguilera Lawrenson. “Many of our students struggle to pay their bills and put food on the table, which makes it all the more difficult for them to reach their educational goals.”

According to the college, the elimination of student debt will help more students register for classes and obtain transcripts to transfer to a four-year institution.

The college offers more information on student debt forgiveness on its website.