HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Holyoke Community College Board of Trustees voted to freeze student fees for the 2020-2021 academic year.

According to HCC spokesperson Chris Yurko, the Board of Trustees voted 8-0 to lock HCC’s Educational Service Fee at $188 per credit and the Student Service Fee at $145 per semester. Over the past five years fees increased by about 5 percent each year.

“This unanimous vote to freeze fees demonstrates our concern for the success of our students,” said board chair Robert Gilbert. “They depend on us, and freezing costs when they’re facing grave economic uncertainty is the right thing to do. We’re trying to do everything we can to make it easier for students to come here, stay here, and succeed here.”

“Holyoke Community College is fortunate to have a Board of Trustees that recognizes the financial hardships brought on by this pandemic, and understands that many of our students have been disproportionately impacted,” said HCC president Christina Royal. “The decision to freeze fees, as well as greater investments in student supports that address food insecurity, mental health, and digital equity, mean that students will have more resources and financial support to attend HCC now and in the future.”

Students will be provided $550 in grants for the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters from the more than $3.7 million higher education relief funds for direct student financial support HCC received. HCC has also received more than $7 million in stimulus money to cover additional expenses incurred during the pandemic.