2020-21 HS Grads Eligible for Free Tuition at NC Community Colleges This Spring; ACC Encourages Graduates to Enroll

November 11, 2021

young man smiling. text reads "hey high school grads! get up to $2,800 per year to cover the cost of tuition and fees at an NC community college"Additional North Carolina high school graduates who earned a diploma in 2020 and 2021 are now eligible to receive state grant funds to attend a community college in the Spring 2022 semester, according to the NC Community College System (NCCCS). This will afford 2020 and 2021 high school graduates the opportunity to attend Alamance Community College free of charge for up to two years.

These grant funds will provide a path for incoming students at Alamance Community College to persist, complete, and achieve their academic goals. Administrators point to this new opportunity for students to obtain a great paying job while beginning a career in needed professions or industries, with the added incentive of pursuing advanced education opportunities.

Earlier this year, the NCCCS received $25 million through the Governor’s Pandemic Relief Office to establish the Longleaf Commitment grant to cover tuition and fees for eligible 2021 high school graduates at any of the state’s 58 community colleges for up to two years. The grant – not a loan – provided these students $700 to $2,800 per academic year toward a degree or to attain transfer credit. This fall approximately 11,000 students statewide took advantage of the Longleaf grant.

“To enable us to expend the $10 million that remains, the North Carolina Community College System has been given approval to broaden eligibility criteria to include new Spring 2022 students from the high school graduating classes of both 2020 and 2021,” said Thomas Stith, NCCCS President in a press release.

Said Dr. Lisa Johnson, Vice President of Instruction at Alamance Community College: “This is a game changer for the graduating classes of both 2020 and 2021 and their parents. We look forward to assisting high-school graduates and their parents as they navigate this process. This is an opportunity to graduate from college, debt-free, with a degree that allows graduates to be employed in high-demand professions that serve our state’s communities. We are better together and this grant provides us with the tools to help students achieve their dreams.”

Eligibility Requirements for the Longleaf Commitment Grant are as follows:

  • 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, including Career & College Promise (CCP) and Early College. Students enrolled in a high school in fall 2021 are also 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.

Students may apply now at  and click “Apply for College” to begin the enrollment process. Students may also contact the Student Success Office at Alamance Community College directly at 336-506-4270.

To receive an EFC and determine financial aid eligibility, submit a FASFA at