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Longleaf Grant Program Will Make College Attainable for Most 2021 HS Grads

June 7, 2021

On May 24, 2021, Governor Cooper announced a package awarding GEER (Governor’s Emergency Education Relief) funds for several initiatives designed to boost job readiness, college access, student wellbeing, and degree attainment. Among those initiatives will be the Longleaf Commitment grant program for 2021 North Carolina high school graduates.

This exciting program is designed specifically for 2021 NC High School graduates who will attend one of our state’s “Great 58” community colleges starting in the Fall 2021 semester. These high school graduates may be eligible to receive this grant – not a loan – to cover tuition and fees toward a degree or to attain transfer credit.

The development of this program is supported by data that K-12 students are spending less time on learning activities; fewer students are planning to go to college; and college enrollments have declined. Data also suggests that students from low-income families, students of color, and students in rural communities have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

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. The Longleaf Commitment Grant does not replace Pell Grant funds. The Longleaf Commitment Grant ends at the conclusion of the 2023 spring semester.

The eligibility requirements for this grant are:

  • Graduate from a North Carolina high school in 2021
  • Be a North Carolina resident for tuition purposes
  • Be a first-time college student [Career & College Promise (CCP) and Early/Middle College High School students are eligible]
  • Enroll in a curriculum program during the 2021-22 academic year
  • Enroll in at least 6 credit hours per semester
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for 2021-22.
  • Have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from $0 - $15,000 (“EFC” is based upon a student’s FAFSA determination)
  • Renew the FAFSA for the 2022-23 academic years and meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements of the college

FAFSA applications may be accessed at www.CFNC.org. Click “Apply for College” to apply to a community college. To get your EFC and determine your financial aid eligibility, submit your FAFSA at www.studentaid.gov. More information about the programs and fall schedule at Martin Community College are available on the MCC website. For more specific assistance at MCC, please call 252-792-1521, or email help@martincc.edu, or text 252-802-6116.