New statewide grant gives free tuition to recent high school graduates


SYLVA – Anyone who graduated from a North Carolina high school in the past six months is eligible for
have some or all of their tuition and fees covered at Southwestern Community College over the next two years through Governor Roy Cooper’s NC Longleaf Engagement Grant.

To qualify, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). They must also be residents of North Carolina and enroll in an Associate’s Degree or SCC qualifying certificate program for the next academic year that begins August 16.

Eligible students will receive between $ 700 and $ 2,800 per year. The amount will be calculated based on each student’s submission to the FAFSA. Even students who are not eligible for federal financial aid such as Pell Grants may be eligible for this new program.

Funding is a grant, not a loan, and will be provided on a first come, first served basis.

“This is a unique opportunity for students in Jackson, Macon and Swain counties to have their tuition and tuition fees fully covered,” said Dr. Thom Brooks, SCC Executive Vice President for education and student services. “With limited funds available, the best way to ensure that you have the opportunity to receive this financial support is to start the process today.”

For tips on how to complete the FAFSA, visit:

For more information on the Longleaf Engagement Grant, see:

For more information on how to take advantage of the Longleaf Engagement Grant at SCC, contact Sayward Cabe – SCC Director of Financial Aid – at 828.339.4315 or [email protected]


For over 50 years, Southwestern Community College has served Jackson, Macon, Swain and Qualla Boundary counties by providing a wide range of educational options for residents at all stages of life. SCC was ranked # 1 by in its list of “Best Community Colleges and Vocational Schools of 2020”, marking the fourth time in the past 15 years Southwestern has been ranked among the top 10 community colleges nationwide. SCC offers a supportive learning environment and over 40 degree programs in health sciences, arts and sciences / college transfer and career technologies. CCN also offers a variety of community resources, including the Small Business Center, continuing education for the workforce, and career counseling services.

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