NC colleges offering free tuition this fall are seeing a jump in applications

Several North Carolina community colleges are offering free tuition for students this fall. Using a combination of federal, state, local, and philanthropic funding, these colleges are guaranteeing free tuition, and in many cases books and fees, for students regardless of financial need.

After statewide community college enrollment declines of 11% last fall, colleges see this as an opportunity to encourage new and returning students to enroll this fall.

“We’re about 10 days into the [free tuition] program now and we’ve had a tremendous response since we announced this,” said Thomas Brooks, executive vice president at Southwestern Community College (SCC). “We’ve had 495 students apply for the program. We have processed 274 FAFSAs (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The same period last year we processed 76 FAFSAs.”

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