WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Education can be expensive, especially as we come out of a global pandemic.
Universities and colleges across North Carolina have seen a 3.2 percent decrease in enrollment compared to this time last year.
Now a new grant program is making higher education more accessible to students.
“I feel like everything that we’ve all been through with COVID, it’s a big help to all families,” said Nyjilia Harris, a recent high school graduate.
Harris is feeling a little less stressed knowing a financial burden is lifted off her shoulders.
“This is really helpful, and it’s a blessing also to have everything covered,” Harris told FOX8.
She just graduated from Walkertown High School in Forsyth County. Her dream is to become a nurse and she will not have to pay tuition when she starts classes in the fall.
“Not everybody has money—especially with them being out of jobs,” Harris said.
Forsyth Technical Community College is taking the governor’s Longleaf Grant program, which provides at least $2,800 to pay for tuition, one step further.
As long as students graduate from a North Carolina high school, are enrolled at Forsyth Tech full time and filled out a FAFSA or alternative FAFSA, their tuition, books and fees are free—regardless of income or immigration status.
Governor Cooper is using federal COVID funds to create the $31.5 million program.
Students who fill out a FAFSA application and an admissions application to the community college as part of the Longleaf Grant will automatically be considered for the grant.