Community College System Extends Grant to 2020 High School Graduates New

WATAUGA – The NC Community College System Extends Longleaf Engagement Grant to High School Graduates 2020.

The grants, previously only available to 2021 graduates, provide between $ 700 and $ 2,800 to cover tuition and fees for up to two years at any community college in the state.

“Our thought is that a student could attend community college for two years at a fraction of the cost,” said Thomas Stith, president of the North Carolina Community College System.

About 11,000 students participated in the scholarship program when it was first launched by Governor Cooper in May. Stith said the numbers were encouraging and reflected an increase in enrollment at community colleges statewide as opposed to four-year universities.

“(The grant) allows students to continue their graduate studies in the community college system, in a very affordable way,” Stith said. “And that is really the hallmark of the community college system.”

The Longleaf Commitment Grant makes a significant difference in avoiding additional debt for students. Since this is a scholarship and not a loan, students don’t have to worry about repayment.

For students living in rural North Carolina and students from low-income backgrounds, the grant can completely ease the financial burden of higher education.

“This grant ensures that each of our graduates has access to free, high-quality education without having to leave home,” said Scott Elliot, Superintendent of Schools for Watauga County.

Schools in Watauga County currently offer several free community college courses to high school students through Caldwell Community College and the Technical Institute.

“This is the next logical step in connecting our students to their long term goals. Elliot said.

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