Today, Governor Roy Cooper held a roundtable discussion about the Longleaf Commitment community college grant program with education leaders and grant recipients at Brunswick Community College. This is the Governor's fifth event in recent weeks spotlighting the program and encouraging graduating high school seniors to apply.
"Our strong, well-educated graduates are our top asset for economic development,"
said Governor Cooper. "It's great to see these Longleaf Commitment community college grants help students continue their education debt-free, so they can take on the jobs of today and tomorrow."
"Receiving the Longleaf grant removed some financial stress from my shoulders,"
said Samuel Cahenzli, Brunswick Community College student and Longleaf Commitment grant recipient. "This past summer I worked full-time, six days in a row each week. There were times when I hit close to an eighty-hour work week, to say I was stressed would be an understatement. During that time, I hardly saw my mom, let alone spend time with her. Having received this grant also gives me the chance to spend time with my family. This grant can help anyone in more ways than one."
"The Longleaf Commitment Grant is a tremendous opportunity for students in Brunswick County and throughout North Carolina to pursue an education that may otherwise be unattainable,"
said Dr. Gene Smith, President of Brunswick Community College. "This grant will make education more accessible to our residents and provide them with an opportunity to achieve their academic goals, secure better wages, begin a life-changing career, or pursue further education. In addition, this grant will provide our local industry with a pipeline of skilled professionals, therefore strengthening our labor market. In 2021 alone, BCC awarded 124 students more than $82,700 in funding for their education through the Longleaf Commitment Grant."
In May 2021, the Governor launched the Longleaf Commitment community college grant program that ensures that recent high school graduates from low- and middle-income families will receive at least $2,800 in federal and state grants to cover tuition and most fees at any of the state's 58 community colleges. The Commitment program supplements the federal Pell grant and existing aid by providing an additional $700 to $2,800 grant per year.
To date, more than 13,600 students have received a Longleaf Commitment Grant with over $8,680,000 going to support students across the state. 63% of the grants have gone to students with family incomes less than $70,000. More than 120 Brunswick Community College students have received Longleaf Commitment grants totaling over $82,000.
At Governor Cooper's direction, the Longleaf Commitment Program was created last year for 2021 high school graduates and funded by the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funds. In November 2021, the Governor signed the bipartisan state budget into law which expands the Longleaf Commitment Program to include 2022 high school graduates.
Eligible high school seniors can apply for the Longleaf Commitment Grant by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and enrolling in a community college.
Brunswick Community College offers Associate in Arts, Associate in Science and Associate in Engineering degrees. The college also offers a wide range of high school pathways, certificates, diplomas and degrees to prepare students for entry-level jobs in paraprofessional and health care fields.
In 2017, Brunswick Community College launched the Brunswick Guarantee to provide free tuition for eligible graduates of Brunswick County high schools. Recipients may be eligible to pursue a degree, diploma or certificate at Brunswick Community College at no cost.
Learn more about the Longleaf Commitment Grants and how to apply here
- Contact: Ford Porter