North Carolina Longleaf Commitment Grant

North Carolina Longleaf Commitment Grant


The Longleaf Commitment is a grant program for 2022 North Carolina high school graduates who will attend one of our state’s “Great 58” community colleges starting in the Fall 2022 semester. High school students may be eligible to receive this grant – not a loan – for tuition and fees toward a degree or to attain transfer credit. Full-time eligible students are guaranteed to receive $700 to $2,800 per year, for a total of two years. Less than full-time students may receive a partial award. The Longleaf Commitment Grant Program ends at the conclusion of the 2024 spring semester.

Eligibility Requirements for 2022 Graduates.

  • Be a 2022 NC high school graduate.**
  • Be a North Carolina resident according to the NC Residency Determination Service.**
  • 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 Fall 2022 semester.
  • Enroll in at least 6 credit hours per semester.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for 2022-23 and subsequent years.
  • Have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from $0 - $15,000.  (“EFC” is based upon student’s FAFSA determination)
  • Renew FAFSA for the 2023-24 academic year and meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements of the college

**Some North Carolina residents who graduated from a non-North Carolina high school may be eligible. 

How to get started

  • Applicants need to apply for admission at the community college they intend to attend and complete residency determination through the North Carolina Residency Determination Service (RDS).
  • Applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • There is not a separate Longleaf Commitment Grant application, as consideration for funding is automatic once the FAFSA is filed and local college verification is completed.  Eligible students will receive an award letter from their community college's financial aid office.  This is a newly created grant, please allow time for award letters to be sent in July 2021.

Helpful Links

Longleaf Commitment Grant Frequently Asked Questions

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North Carolina has received a total of $137.8 million in aid from the Governors Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund through federal COVID-19 relief packages. To date, the Governor has awarded $86.4 million of GEER funds, including $15 million to NC community colleges to fund tuition assistance grants for students in high-demand workforce training programs. As the state continues to respond to the immediate impacts of the pandemic, strategic investments in our education systems remain critical to our long-term recovery. NC’s higher education systems saw historic drops in enrollment in 2020, with a particularly significant impact at our community colleges. Limited data available indicate more declines in college plans and college readiness next school year without a bold intervention.

On May 14, 2021, the Governor’s office announced the “Longleaf Commitment Grant,” which will launch in partnership with the NC Community College System and the State Education Assistance Authority to guarantee that students from receive enough financial aid to cover tuition and fees to earn an associate degree and/or credits to transfer to a four-year institution. Critical to the NC’s attainment goal, this program will facilitate learning recovery and ensure today’s high school graduates do not fall out of the education pipeline for good. The Commitment sends a clear message to students that they are not alone in the pandemic and college is in reach despite the challenging circumstances. The Governor is committing up to $31 million to support this pilot program, which will include $25 million for student aid and $6 million in matching funds to expand student support services. 

On November 18, 2021, state leaders approved Session Law 2021-180 that established the Longleaf Commitment Community College Grant (section 8A.5) using the State Fiscal Recovery Fund and administered by the State Education Assistance Authority. The grant is awarded to eligible students graduating from the 2021-22 academic year to cover community college tuition and fees for up to two years. The goal of the grant is to support students to recover learning and persist through to degree attainment despite the impacts of the pandemic.