Full scholarships are now available for students who enroll in high-demand short-term workforce training programs offered at North Carolina's 58 community colleges.
The scholarships are worth up to $750 or the cost of the program — whichever is more. The money can be used to pay tuition, fees, books and supplies, testing, transportation, childcare and other expenses incurred while enrolled in school.
Scholarships are available to eligible students who take courses that will lead to a state- or industry-recognized credential in one of these 10 areas crucial to North Carolina's economy where workers are in high demand:
• Aircraft maintenance
• Criminal justice
• Emergency medical services
• Fire and rescue services
• Industrial and manufacturing
• Information technology
To qualify for the grant, students must be North Carolina residents who are enrolled in an eligible continuing education program or course that's a minimum of 96 hours.
There's no application for the scholarships. But students must do three things to get a scholarship: apply to an eligible community college program at the College Foundation of North Carolina website, verify their North Carolina residency through the N.C. Residency Determination Service and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.
The scholarships come from a $15 million tuition assistance program included in Gov. Roy Cooper's plan, announced in August, to spend $95.6 million in federal funding from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund.
This fund was created by the federal CARES Act, the first major stimulus bill to help the nation cope with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many N.C. high school graduates from 2021 can qualify for annual grants of $700 to $2,800 each year for two years — enough to pay for two years of school if they enroll full-time in a curriculum program at one of the state's 58 community colleges.
Contact John Newsom at (336) 373-7312 and follow @JohnNewsomNR on Twitter.