RALEIGH – As more and more communities recognize the necessity of education beyond high school, more and more are trying to make that education accessible by offering tuition-free community college.
Tennessee led the way with Tennessee Promise – a last-dollar scholarship that covers the cost of community-college tuition and fees that aren’t covered by Pell Grants, HOPE scholarships or state aid.
“A hallmark of the Community College System has been to keep tuition and fees as affordable as possible,” President Peter Hans of the NC Community College System says in the accompanying video. “So that we can accept as many citizens as possible to help them take that next rung up the ladder of life.”
Hans notes that Gov. Roy Cooper has proposed free community college tuition in North Carolina.
“We’re certainly supportive of anything that will maintain the affordability of our institutions,” Hans says.
He notes that a number North Carolina community colleges – among them Vance-Granville, Brunswick, Isothermal, James Sprunt, Montgomery and Richmond1 – have already raised private or local dollars to offer last-dollar scholarships for qualifying students.
“It helps get them over that hump. They have utilized private support to make that possible, and we encourage and salute those efforts,” Hans says.
“It’s not yet possible everywhere, but anything that we can do to promote affordability of community colleges and maintain that accessibility – that’s a great thing.”