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WFMY: Free tuition for ’21 HS grads

Jun 17, 2021

By Jaelen Gilkey, WMFY News 2

Gov. Roy Cooper recently introduced a new grant that impacts every 2021 high school graduate.

At the beginning of the year, our state received nearly $138 million in aid from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief fund. Cooper and the North Carolina Community College System created the Longleaf Grant.

This grant will allow students two years of free tuition to any North Carolina community college, as long as they graduated from a North Carolina high school in 2021. Local community colleges are excited to see how this will help our students and our schools.

Derick Satterfield, director of enrollment services at Rockingham Community College, says although this is for all 2021 graduates, you need to act fast in order to take full advantage of this opportunity.

“This is a four-semester program. Here’s the biggest thing students need to know: You must start the fall ’21 semester. It’s only guaranteed for students starting in the fall of ’21 at any North Carolina community college,” Satterfield said.

Although most students will qualify, there are some things you must do to be eligible.

“There are several steps you need to do. First you need to apply to Rockingham Community College or your local community college. Second thing is you have to complete the FAFSA. If you were a senior in high school, your counselor should have talked to you about the FAFSA. But every high school student needs to complete the FAFSA,” Satterfield said.

Applications are open now and there is still plenty of grant money available. You must apply to your local community college and you must complete the FAFSA.

Even if you think you won’t qualify for the financial assistance, you must complete the FAFSA to be eligible for the Longleaf Grant.


Rockingham Community College
PO Box 38
215 Wrenn Memorial Rd.
Wentworth, NC 27375


Monday to Thursday:
8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm


336-349-9986 (fax)