WINTERVILLE, NC – A new program to boost North Carolina’s economic recovery after COVID-19 gives the state’s 2021 high school graduates the opportunity to attend Pitt Community College tuition-free during both coming years.
Beginning in the fall semester 2021, the Longleaf Engagement Grant will provide up to $ 2,800 per year for two years to full-time CCP students who meet guidelines set by heads of state. Part-time students approved for funding may receive partial scholarships.
North Carolina officials established the grant program to deal with a sharp drop in the number of new students enrolled at the state’s 58 community colleges during the pandemic. Using $ 31.5 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Fund, they created the initiative to ensure high school graduates from low-income and middle-class families have a way clear and affordable to get a college degree.
“Much of North Carolina’s economic recovery from COVID-19 depends on the success of the CCP and other community colleges in preparing a skilled workforce for business and industry,” said said CPC Chairman Lawrence L. Rouse. “The Longleaf Engagement Grant will help encourage more North Carolina high school graduates to pursue post-secondary education, thereby strengthening our ability to develop a pool of qualified professionals. ”
CPC Financial Aid Director Lee Bray said the Longleaf Engagement Grant will provide much needed financial aid to Pitt students. She noted that in any given semester at college, about 67 percent of students receive at least some form of financial aid to cover the cost of their tuition fees.
Bray says students who enroll in PCC this fall will automatically be considered for Longleaf funding if they submit a Free Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application and follow the program guidelines. She said this includes eligible students who applied to college and completed the FAFSA before the announcement of the Longleaf Engagement Grant.
“Other than an application for admission to the PCC and the FAFSA, there is no additional form for students to fill out to determine their eligibility,” Bray said. “This is an incredible opportunity for this year’s high school graduates to pursue an Associate Degree at PCC, tuition-free for the next two years. ”
The full list of eligibility requirements includes:
- Graduated from high school in North Carolina in 2021.
- Resident of North Carolina for education purposes.
- First Time Student (Career & College Promise and Early / Middle College High School Students are eligible).
- Enroll in a North Carolina community college for the fall semester 2021 and maintain at least six credit hours per semester while making satisfactory academic progress.
- Complete a FAFSA for the 2021-22 academic year and renew it for the 2022-23 academic year.
- Have an expected family contribution of less than $ 15,000, which roughly equates to $ 100,000 of adjusted gross income for a family with two children.
Bray encouraged students interested in funding Longleaf to apply to the CCP and complete a FAFSA as soon as possible to avoid potential processing delays. She added that more details about the grant are available by searching for “Longleaf Commitment” on the PCC website (www.pittcc.edu).