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Omaha community college to use relief funds for free classes

May 3, 2021 GMT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha-area community college says it will use federal pandemic relief funds to offer Nebraska high school students free classes this summer.

The board of Metropolitan Community College last week approved a resolution to use to use federal COVID-19 relief money to cover tuition and books for Nebraska high school students taking courses this summer, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

Typically, high school students who enroll in the college’s CollegeNow program pay $33 per credit hour — half the full rate. The program is designed to give high school students a jump-start over the summer months on college credits that will transfer to four-year universities and colleges.

Metro students will still be responsible for the cost of tools or other required supplies outside of tuition and books.

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A 10-week summer session will start June 6 and end Aug. 16. There will also be two five-week sessions, one running June 6 to July 12, the other July 13 to Aug. 16.

Enrollment at Metro took a hit last summer in the wake of the pandemic, dropping 15% from the previous summer. Officials hope to make up that lost ground with the offer of free classes.

“If we’re truly in recovery mode, and we hope we are, we think we’ll see a return to those numbers,” Bill Owen, the college’s vice president for strategic initiatives, said.