Longleaf Commitment Grant Program Expanded

Rob Goldberg | December 6th, 2021

Fall foliage on display outside of PCC's Vernon White Building.

WINTERVILLE—A program created this year to spur North Carolina’s economic recovery from COVID-19 has been expanded to give the state’s 2020 high school graduates a chance to attend Pitt Community College tuition-free.

The change starts with the 2022 Spring Semester and gives full-time PCC students who meet Longleaf Commitment Grant guidelines a chance to receive as much as $2,800 a year for two years. Part-time students can receive partial awards if they are approved for the grant, which was previously reserved for 2021 high school graduates.

“Going to PCC is more affordable than ever for recently graduated high school students,” PCC Financial Aid Director Lee Bray said. “There are so many funding sources that can allow students to receive a degree debt-free. Our office is willing to assist with any questions or concerns, so students can rest easy knowing PCC can help them advance their education without financial burdens.”

By extending eligibility to 2020 high school graduates, the N.C. Community College System (NCCCS) is hoping to further boost enrollment by offering students who previously could not have pursued higher education easily a more affordable option and greater access.

“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 NCCCS President Thomas A. Stith III. “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.”

The full list of Longleaf Commitment eligibility requirements includes:

  • 2020 or 2021 North Carolina high school graduate.
  • North Carolina resident for tuition purposes.
  • First-time college student (Career & College Promise and Early/Middle College High School students are eligible).
  • Enroll in a North Carolina community college for the 2022 Spring Semester and maintain at least six credit hours per semester while making satisfactory academic progress.
  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid for the 2021-22 academic year and renew it for the 2022-23 academic year.
  • Have an Expected Family Contribution below $15,000.

Using $31.5 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, North Carolina officials established the Longleaf Commitment Grant to address a steep decline in the number of new students enrolling at the state’s community colleges during the pandemic. Through outreach activities from the NCCCS Office and local efforts, North Carolina community colleges have awarded grant funding to approximately 11,000 students to date.

For additional information, contact the PCC Financial Aid Office at (252) 493-7339, or visit www.yourhireeducation.com/tuitionfree.

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