Grant to help high school grads pay for community college

WILMINGTON — Gov. Roy Cooper approved the use of $31.5 million from federal Covid-19 aid to be funneled into the Longleaf Commitment Grant. The program helps high school grads pay for tuition and fees at community colleges.

The Longleaf Commitment Grant will fund $700 to $2,800 a year for up to two years and will not need to be repaid by students. The money can be used toward a degree, credential or transfer credit, according to a press release from Cape Fear Community College, which is encouraging students to apply.

The grant is available for full-time students, with partial funds available for part-time students.


Student eligibility includes:

  • Be a graduate from a North Carolina high school in 2020 or 2021
  • Be a North Carolina resident for tuition purposes
  • Be a first-time college student during the 2021-2022 school year (students who have earned college credit through Career & College Promise (CCP) and Early/Middle College high school and have now graduated high school are also eligible).
  • Enroll in a curriculum program during Spring 2022
  • Enroll in at least 6 credit hours per semester
  • Complete the FAFSA for 2021-22 and submit any documents required for verification to the financial aid office.
  • Have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from $0 – $15,000. (“EFC” is based upon student’s FAFSA determination. Most students with an estimated family Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of up to $90,000 will be eligible).
  • Renew FAFSA for the 2022-23 academic year and meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements at cfcc.edu/satisfactory-academic-progress.

“High school graduates have the exclusive opportunity to earn a degree from CFCC without accumulating student debt,” CFCC President Jim Morton said in the release. “There is no better time to go to college than now; this type of grant for students is a rare, can’t-miss opportunity.”

The program ends at the conclusion of the 2023 spring semester. Potential applicants can learn more by contacting Rachel Cavenaugh at 910-362-7317 or emailing rcavenaugh@cfcc.edu.

Other federal relief funding, scholarships and federal financial aid are available at CFCC. Find out more at cfcc.edu/paying-for-cfcc/.


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