OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A Nebraska community college is using federal COVID-19 relief funds to pay for tuition and books for high schoolers from the state to take courses this summer.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that officials at the Metropolitan Community College hope their newly approved offer will pull in thousands of students. The college saw about a 15% drop in summer enrollment from 2019 to 2020, said Bill Owen, the college’s vice president for strategic initiatives.

“If we’re truly in recovery mode, and we hope we are, we think we’ll see a return to those numbers,” he said.

Typically, high school students who enroll in a program called CollegeNow that is designed for high school students to jumpstart their college education pay $33 per credit hour – half the full rate.

While students will be allowed to attend courses for free this summer, they will be responsible for tools or other required supplies. ​

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