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HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. —  College isn’t cheap, but for some Rust College students there is a little less to worry about.

“This is a huge deal. I think we are seeing now, more than ever, how important higher education is,” said Tiffani Perry, Chief of Staff at Rust College.

Rust College has announced it is clearing more than $150,000 owed by students for the last five semesters.

“We had small amounts from $200 all the way to students who had $5,000 and $6,000 balances,” Perry said. “So this could be for anything that hits the students account balance, from tuition, to books, to room and board.”

The financial relief is possible through funds from the CARES Act for students who were unable to continue their education amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had a number of students who had to leave. Of course, we had to shut down campus in March of 2020, and we had a number of students who had to leave and go home to help their families due to financial hardships,” Perry says. “Dr Taylor really wanted to focus on ensuring that we had opportunities in place for students who were experiencing financial hardships.”

Upcoming Senior Christopher Agbo, an international student from Africa, is one of those benefiting.
“Having the school cover for a cost of something that probably could have taken a longer time to like afford, it’s really a big time blessing,” Agbo said.

Agbo got almost $1,000 paid off for his summer classes.  

“It took a huge load off my back and I appreciate it,” said Agbo.

More than 100 students have been able to clear their balances.

“Right now we’re in a time where the world could use a lot more scientists, educators. We want to be able to provide those opportunities for our young people,” Perry said.

The CARES Act dollars are available to any Rust College student who was enrolled after the pandemic hit, starting in the spring of 2020.