NC’s class of 2021 high school graduates may be eligible for free community college

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina high school graduates from the class of 2021 may be eligible to attend community college for free.

Under the Longleaf Commitment Grant Program, which is funded using federal relief money, students could receive between $700-$2,800 per semester. The amount depends on family income that is determined by filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

“It’s an opportunity that has not been there before for graduating seniors in North Carolina,” said Wake Tech Community College President Scott Ralls.

According to Wake Tech, most students whose family makes $90,000 or less will be eligible for the grant.

“It’s a higher income threshold than normal federal financial aid, so students who may have not been eligible for traditional forms of federal financial aid, could then be eligible for this Longleaf Commitment,” Ralls explained.

“The graduating class of last year had a tough time. They went through some difficult experiences and all have been challenged through the pandemic. This takes some of that financial burden and more opportunity to move forward,” he said.

Eligibility Requirements

To receive Longleaf Commitment Grant funds, a student must:

  • Be a 2021 North Carolina high school graduate attending a North Carolina community college in the 2021-22 academic year
  • Have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $15,000 or less as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Be a North Carolina resident for tuition purposes
  • Enroll for at least 6 credit hours per semester in a curriculum program
  • Meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements of the college

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