RALEIGH – Many N.C. 2020 high school graduates are eligible to have tuition and fees covered at any of the 58 community colleges in the state.

The Longleaf Commitment Grants provide between $700 and $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 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 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 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid submission process

- The FAFSA and enrollment information are used to determine eligibility. There is not an application specifically for the Longleaf Commitment Grant.

Eligibility Requirements:

- 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 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 2021-22

- Have an Expected Family Contribution from $0 - $15,000 ("EFC" is based upon a student's FAFSA determination)

- Renew the FAFSA for the 2022-23 academic years and meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements of the college

Earlier this year the N.C. Community College System received $25 million through the Governor's Pandemic Relief Office to award to eligible high school graduates of the class of 2021. With statewide outreach activities from the system office and local efforts, the community colleges have awarded funds to approximately 11,000 students to date.

Visit www.yourhireeducation.com/tuitionfree for additional information.

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