Many North Carolina 2020 high school graduates are now eligible to have tuition and fees covered at any of the 58 community colleges in the state. The Longleaf Commitment Grants provide between $700– $2,800 to recent high school graduates to cover the cost of tuition and fees for up to two years at any N.C. Community College. The grants were previously only open to 2021 high school graduates.
With the expanded eligibility to 2020 high school graduates, the System hopes to further boost enrollment and provide students with a more affordable option and greater access to higher education to students who previously would not have been able to easily attend.
"Education translates into opportunity, and with this grant expansion, we are excited to provide more opportunity to our diverse student populations across the state," said Thomas A. Stith III, president of the N.C. Community College System. "North Carolina's 'Great 58' community colleges are essential to the state's economic recovery efforts and are well poised to prepare the workforce needed today and tomorrow."
In alignment with North Carolina's educational attainment goal, the grant will also accelerate learning recovery to ensure 2020-2021 graduates attain the education they need to get a career they want.
In order for full-time students to receive the Longleaf Commitment Grant and take full advantage of the opportunity, they must follow the below steps and meet the eligibility requirements:
- Apply for admission to any North Carolina community college
- Complete the 2021-2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) submission process
Note – The FAFSA and enrollment information are used to determine eligibility. There is not an application specifically for the Longleaf Commitment Grant.
- Graduate from a N.C. high school in 2020 or 2021
- Be a N.C. resident
- Be a first-time college student [Career & College Promise (CCP) and Early/Middle College High School students are eligible]
- Enroll in a curriculum program during the Spring 2022 academic year
- Enroll in at least six credit hours per semester
- Complete the FAFSA for 2021-2022
- Have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from $0 - $15,000 ("EFC" is based upon a student's FAFSA determination)
- Renew the FAFSA for the 2022-2023 academic years and meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements of the college
The Longleaf Commitment grant program was announced by Governor Cooper in May. The grant program supplements the federal Pell grant and existing state aid by providing an additional $700 to $2,800 grant per year for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 academic years for students to earn an associate degree and/or credits to transfer to a four-year college or university in North Carolina. The program is funded through North Carolina’s share of the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund, federal dollars that aim to help school districts, postsecondary institutions, or other education-related entities address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. With statewide outreach activities from the System Office and local efforts, the community colleges have awarded funds to approximately 11,000 students to date.
For additional information, visit www.yourhireeducation.com/tuitionfree
About the North Carolina Community College System
The North Carolina Community College System is a network created to improve the quality of life across North Carolinaby opening the door to opportunities that minimize barriers to post-secondary education, maximize student success and develop a globally and multi-culturally competent workforce. The 58 institutions located throughout the state work to provide easy access to low-cost, high-quality educational opportunities and academic support that focuses on increasing employability. For more information, please visit: www.nccommunitycolleges.edu.