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Education

Eight Northeast Ohio colleges and universities launch pilot program to address stranded credits

Stark State College sign
Stark State College
Stark State College is one of eight Northeast Ohio higher education institutions participating in the stranded credits pilot program.

Eight Northeast Ohio higher learning institutions are launching a pilot program to help students with educational debt go back to school. The program includes several public colleges and universities, including Cleveland State, Kent State, Stark State, and the University of Akron.

The pilot program is aimed at resolving stranded credits, those that students have earned but can’t access because of debt they owe their school.

Stark State’s Vice President of Enrollment Management Stephanie Sutton hopes the program will help students with some credits, no degree and institutional debt.

Sutton on students feeling stuck by stranded credits

“You often hear about how there are all these students who have some credits but no degree and that they’re really should be who we’re trying to recruit and come back to college, but often with that some credit and no degree, many of those students owe some money to their institution or college, so they’re really stuck,” Sutton said.

Students who have debt will be able to re-enroll at their original school or one of the seven others.

“The participating institutions agree to settle the institutional debt and release the transcript to any of those other seven partner organizations.

Sutton says they are still deciding if students in the program will pay off some of the debt at a lower rate or if the institution will pay if off for them. She says they hope to launch the program for the fall semester.

The other schools include Lakeland Community College, Lorain Community College, Tri-C, and Youngstown State.