A grant program expansion will allow more NC students to attend community college

A grant program expansion will allow more NC students to attend community college

10:27am Nov 19, 2021
Students at work in a computer integrated machining course at Guilford Technical Community College. (Photo courtesy GTCC)

A newly expanded grant program will allow more North Carolina high school graduates to attend community college. 

The Longleaf Commitment Grant program helps recent low-income high school graduates cover the cost of community college tuition for up to two years.

The program, which launched last May, was originally designed to assist 2021 high school graduates, but an excess of funding has allowed for an expansion to include those who graduated in 2020.

The state has budgeted an additional $31 million for the grants that help cover tuition and fees at any of the state’s 58 community colleges. Eligibility is determined through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process.

The program also includes funding to help the schools hire more academic counselors.

Thomas Stith III is president of the N.C. Community College System. He tells The News & Observer that “education equals opportunity,” and the grants can help mitigate the impact of the pandemic while aiding the state’s economic recovery.

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