WINTERVILLE, N.C. — A program created last year to spur North Carolina’s economic recovery from the pandemic has been extended to give the state’s 2022 high school graduates a chance to attend Pitt Community College tuition-free.

   This fall, full-time PCC students who meet Longleaf Commitment Grant guidelines can 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 originally reserved for the state’s 2021 high school graduates.

   “The Longleaf Commitment Grant has made it more affordable than ever for recent high school graduates to pursue associate degrees from Pitt Community College,” PCC Financial Aid Director Lee Bray said. “Pitt has many funding sources that can help students earn a degree debt-free, and our office is ready and willing to assist them with any questions or concerns they may have.”

   To be eligible for Longleaf Commitment funding, students must have graduated from a North Carolina high school in either 2020, 2021 or 2022. They must be North Carolina residents who qualify for in-state tuition and first-time college students, though Career & College Promise and Early/Middle College High School students are eligible.

   Other eligibility requirements include:

  • Enrollment in a North Carolina community college for the 2022 Fall Semester. Students must maintain at least six credit hours per semester while making satisfactory academic progress.
  • Completion of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid for the 2022-23 academic year and renewal for the 2023-24 academic year.
  • An Expected Family Contribution below $15,000.

   North Carolina leaders used $31.5 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund to establish the Longleaf Commitment Grant. The program was meant to address a steep decline in the number of new students enrolling in the state’s community colleges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

   Since the Longleaf Commitment Grant’s start, PCC has awarded the funding to 1,160 students.

   For additional information on the Longleaf Commitment Grant program, students may contact the PCC Financial Aid Office at (252) 493-7339, or visit www.yourhireeducation.com/tuitionfree.