STEUBENVILLE — Students will be able to take summer classes at Eastern Gateway Community College with no out-of-pocket costs.
The college announced Monday it was launching the EGCC Summer Guarantee, allowing students to earn college credits this summer without incurring any expense, even for tuition, fees and books.
New, continuing and returning students who live in the college’s service district — Jefferson, Columbiana, Trumbull and Mahoning counties — the Summer Guarantee is a “last dollar” scholarship that will cover students’ out-of-pocket costs after Pell Grants and other financial aid eligibility is determined. This also is available to students who are enrolled at other colleges or universities, but are back home in the service district for the summer.
“The federal stimulus bill, the CARES Act, provided funding to colleges to help cover the costs of transitioning to online learning during the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure students continue to receive their education, especially those students facing economic hardship,” Interim President Michael Geoghegan said. “As many other community colleges across the country have been hit hard by the sudden disruption of COVID-19, Eastern Gateway Community College’s national leadership in online learning provided some stability and continuity for our on-campus students.”
Prior to its full-scale conversion to distance learning in response to COVID-19, 88 percent of Eastern Gateway Community College students were taking at least one online course. EGCC has been focused on delivering quality education at an affordable price, and has used technology to enable that mission, the college said in the release. While disruption to campus operations was significant, only a small percentage of its courses were unable to transition because of the laboratories and clinicals that require in-class participation.
To be eligible for the EGCC Summer Guarantee, students in the service district must have completed a 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid and submitted an EGCC online application. Summer courses begin June 1.
“Summer semester is the right time for students and displaced workers to get caught up and get ahead after the weeks of disruption and continued uncertainty,” Geoghegan said. “Our programs are affordable and accessible, without sacrificing any of the rigor our students, staff, faculty and employers expect.”
Eastern Gateway Community College will receive just under $1 million in funding through the CARES Act to support students in its service district after academic disruption as a result of COVID-19. The federal legislation also provided funding for direct assistance to students to remove barriers to continuing their education. The college said staff is reviewing guidance and will provide information as it becomes available.