WASHINGTON, N.C. Enrollment at Beaufort County Community College has surged since the college announced its Beaufort Promise program to cover tuition and fees through 2023. BCCC's unduplicated headcount for students enrolled in college credit classes rose by 29 percent for Fall 2021 over Fall 2020, from 1470 to 1904 students. The college received over 2100 applications since announcing the Beaufort Promise, double what its applications were during the same time period in 2020. Applications for 2021 have already surpassed annual totals for the previous five years. In response, the college continues to add additional classes to meet the demand, including eight-week online classes that start on October 12.
The Beaufort Promise program uses a combination of existing and new federal and state programs to pay for college credit classes as well as initial certification classes through the Division of Continuing Education. These programs include the North Carolina Longleaf Commitment, the American Rescue Plan, as well as existing funding for Career & College Promise, Pell Grants (Title IV funds), NC Works, State Employees Credit Union, and the Golden LEAF Foundation and the BCCC Foundation.
Like many colleges across the country, BCCC saw a drop in enrollment at the beginning of the pandemic, as students opted to wait until in-person classes resumed or childcare and family needs overtook education as a priority-or even possibility. The Beaufort Promise has helped welcome students back into the classroom, with class enrollment rising 11 percent over Fall 2019 and 29 percent over Fall 2020-even as the pandemic continues. These numbers do not reflect project growth in programs in the Division of Continuing Education.
Beaufort Promise only covers tuition and fees, though many students will qualify for Pell grants, which can cover other costs such as textbooks. The BCCC Foundation has also awarded over $70,000 in scholarships to pay for textbooks for students. The Beaufort Promise is a "last dollar" program, meaning that the college will exhaust all other available funding first. Students fill out both a FAFSA and a Beaufort Promise application, and then college staff help students explore funding for which they are eligible.
Students can be full-time or part-time. The program ends on March 16, 2023. All programs through our Division of Nursing and Allied Health, Division of Arts and Sciences, and Division of Business, Industry and Public Services are covered. Initial certification programs through the Division of Continuing Education, such as Nurse Aide I, CDL Truck Driving, Manicuring, HVAC Technician, Phlebotomy, Real Estate Pre-License and other 50+ hour, programs are covered.
On October 7 from 5:00-7:00 p.m., Beaufort County Community College will hold an open house in the Boyette Conference Center in Building 10 to give parents and students a chance to ask questions of professors from many of BCCC's programs and to explore potential careers and transfer opportunities. Radio station KISS FM will be broadcasting live from the conference center during the event.
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