Finish Line Grants Program Transition

From: James Kelley, Associate Vice President, Student Services
To: Community College Presidents




TO: Presidents


FROM: James Kelley, AVP Student Services


SUBJECT: Finish Line Grants Program Transition


DATE: August 26, 2022


Effective from October 1, 2022, through September 30, 2023, the Finish Line Grants (FLG)
Program administration will transition to the System Office and the funding source will change
to Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) contingent upon the award and signed
NCPRO agreement. The Governor’s Office is planning to award additional federal funds for a
second year through September 30, 2024.


On September 8th from 9:30 am to 10:30 am, a webinar will be facilitated to cover policy and
process guidelines, Colleague workflows, and time for questions and answers. The FLG
Guidelines are attached to this memorandum. Colleague workflows are targeted to be
published by September 1, 2022. Further, an informational FLG webpage is active and will be
updated as information becomes available (Finish Line Grants | NC Community Colleges). Lastly,
we will welcome Allison Gahrmann ( to the System
Office who will serve as the FLG manager starting September 1, 2022.


The State Board of Community Colleges (SBCC) approved the allocation of $3,750,000 to
support the FLG program, including $3,113,500 for emergency grants for students, $524,000 to
support college program implementation and outreach, and $112,500 for the System Office to
administer the program. More information regarding the funding to support college program
implementation and outreach is forthcoming. The SBCC item with college allocations may be
found on the NCCCS webpage (Microsoft Word – FC 02 – Allocation for Finish Line Grants July 1,
2022 – September 30, 2023 (REVISED 08-20-2022) (


To be eligible, students must be enrolled in a North Carolina community college, in good
academic standing as defined by the college, and have completed at least 50% of their degree
or credential program. These grants may help cover costs such as transportation, childcare or
dependent care, housing assistance, utility bills (including internet), medical needs,

accommodations for individuals with disabilities, and assistance with tuition, fees, or books.
Each community college that participates in the Finish Line Grant program will receive a
budgeted award of $20,000 plus additional funding based on 2022-23 budget FTE. If a college
does not participate in the program, their available funds will be redistributed to participating


The Finish Line Grant program was managed by the Department of Commerce and operated
as a partnership between community colleges and local workforce development boards since
2018. With SBCC approval, the administration of this program shifts from the Department of
Commerce to the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS).


On July 12, 2018, Governor Cooper announced the Finish Line Grants program to help
community college students complete their education when facing unforeseen financial
challenges. Initially funded with $7 million federal funding (Governor’s Workforce Innovation
and Opportunity Act WIOA Discretionary Fund), the program provided community college
students that are 50% of the way to completing a credential with emergency aid up to
$1,000 per semester for an unanticipated financial hardship. The program had operated as a
partnership between community colleges and workforce development boards where eligible
students enrolled in the workforce system and workforce boards paid for allowable
expenses. Students applied for aid at the college but were referred to a local workforce
board that determined final eligibility and paid the emergency costs on the student’s behalf.
As of April 30, 2022, 8,300 students had received $4.6 million in emergency aid.


A process evaluation of the FLG program was conducted by the North Carolina Office of
State Budget and Management’s Office of Strategic Partnerships in 2021 and 2022
(flg_recommended_practices_07.12.22.pdf ( After conducting
interviews with students, staff at community colleges, and local workforce boards, they
developed a set of recommendations for streamlining the program and simplifying the
awarding of grants to students. One of the elements of the program identified in the report
as a barrier for some students is that students are required to complete applications and
provide documentation at both the community college and the local workforce board. By
changing the source of funds and moving the program to the NCCCS the requirement to
register with the workforce system is removed. This will simplify the program and should
help students receive emergency aid more quickly.




Chief Academic Officers
Chief Student Development Administrators




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