Free tuition available for Maricopa County students affected by pandemic

July 28, 2022

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PHOENIX — Local college students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are now eligible to receive tuition stipends to enroll in specific programs within Maricopa Community Colleges.


The city of Phoenix has allocated $7 million toward helping residents recover from the pandemic's economic ramifications by offering educational opportunities that could help jumpstart a new career path. 


The "Route to Relief" program provides financial assistance for community college students who have experienced one of the following hardships since March 2020:

  • Household income was reduced due to lost wages or reduced hours
  • Currently is or has been unemployed
  • Qualified for unemployment or pandemic insurance benefits
  • Laid off or furloughed from a job
  • Stopped working to care for a sick household member
  • Loss of child or spousal support
  • Stopped working to care for children home from school or daycare  

Eligible students can receive up to $5,000 for tuition, $500 for training-related expenses, and a monthly stipend for the duration of their education program.


Students are eligible to receive funding beginning in July 2022 and the program will continue through Dec. 2024.  


More than 100 academic programs fall under the "Route to Relief" benefits. Some of the subjects covered under the program include computer technology, behavioral science, education, health sciences and hospitality.


"The partnership between Maricopa Community Colleges and the City of Phoenix will create a talented workforce pipeline that will act as a magnet for our existing companies and will help to attract new knowledge economy jobs," said Phoenix Vice Mayor Laura Pastor in a press release.


More information about the benefits can be found here.