High school graduates from 2020 and 2021 are now eligible for free community college beginning with the 2022 Spring Semester at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute through the Longleaf Commitment Grant.
The Longleaf Commitment Grant, launched in June to help 2021 high school graduates from low- and middle-income families attend community college, was recently expanded to include graduates from the Class of 2020. The grant helps cover tuition and fees toward a degree or to earn transfer credit.
“Since the founding of the community college system, the goal has been to make higher education and job training accessible to everyone,” CCC&TI President Mark Poarch said. “Programs such as the Longleaf Commitment are a huge help for those students trying to overcome economic barriers to a college education.”
Full-time eligible students are guaranteed to receive $700 to $2,800 per academic year, for a total of two years. Less than full-time students may receive a partial award.
To be eligible, students must:
- 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 (Career & College Promise and early/middle college high school students are eligible)
- Enroll in a Title IV eligible curriculum program during the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 academic years
- Enroll in at least six credit hours per semester
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and all verification requirements, if applicable, for the 2021-2022 academic year
- Have an Expected Family Contribution from $0-$15,000
- Renew the FAFSA for the 2022-23 academic years and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements of the college
The Longleaf program also offers help for college students whose education was interrupted during the pandemic through the Longleaf Complete Grant. It can be used by UNC System students, North Carolina community college students or students at independent colleges and universities to help them complete their degree.
New student registration for the Spring Semester begins Wednesday, Nov. 17. Spring Semester classes at CCC&TI begin on Jan. 10, 2022.