By Abraham Mirambeaux--
With unpredictable weather, rioting, and collapsing businesses, spring has finally arrived, reopening schools country-wide while many PCCC students are still confronting the 600 foot pinnacle they call “finances.” Nearly 900 students have not paid for their tuition the previous Fall, with some students reported homeless in the streets with little food or security at their reach. Fortunately, the difficulties that ensued had government officials commit to more funding in education and school facilities this year.
The new financial assistance has qualified many residents of Passaic County to attend PCCC tuition-free this Spring semester. According to the PCCC website, if you already completed the FASFA or the NJ Alternative Financial AID Application for NJ Dreamers, you are automatically considered a candidate for assistance.
At a remote briefing, Tuesday, 1:30 pm, Dr. Steven Rose, the president of PCCC, announced there is no reason why anyone should miss out on school because of finances. Challenging the circumstances, there would be enough funds released to honor the debts for many students derived from Federal funds and scholarships.
The PCCC administration set a goal last year to get 500 new scholarships and, now triple the amount ever recorded, plus federal money, which is enough to go around this year.
Opportunity grants from New Jersey allow anyone who makes $65,000 and under to come for free to PCCC. The laptop program from last year will still continue. Through the program, laptops that normally cost $700.00 can be purchased $199.00. If the students still cannot afford that, the PCCC administration will attempt to use CARES money to supplement the cost. According to Dr. Rose. 1,500 students last semester took advantage of getting laptops.
Furthermore, for the 20% of in-class students, the PCCC administration is allocating $100,000 dollars to keep those students safe on campus. Thermal imaging is placed at the doors to read the temperature when walking in, with tons of masks to hand out, and extra filters in the HVAC system for ventilating air indoors.
Extending precautions, active custodians will clean each classroom between classes. The school has also allocated more funds to rally 50 gallons of hand sanitizers which are presently found in many places throughout campus. Thousands of COVID tests are set to be provided by the administration to decrease the risk of any student getting sick.
So, how will PCCC decide whether they need to shut down once they reopen for in-person classes?
PCCC is closely tied with the local health officials and is in constant contact on a regular basis. By whim, if the pandemic does seem to spike higher than usual, administrations will be alerted, and classes will continue remote for this semester.