Gov. Cooper looking to make Community College free

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Governor Roy Cooper wants to start a program allowing high school students to receive money for community college.

The initiative is called NC Grow and would allow students to receive a state scholarship to attend a community college for little to no money.

In order to obtain the money, students would first have to apply for pell grants and financial aid. Then, the state would cover the remaining balance for the first two years of their education.

The money to fund the program would come from the North Carolina Education Lottery.

“Certainly I think we’ll see some enrollment increases, and I think we would across the system,” said Dr. Rusty Hunt, President of Lenior Community College. “I think that’s good for the state, it’s good for our individual colleges, but most importantly it’s good for our citizens, our business, and industry, and it’s good for our region.”

23 percent of citizens in Lenoir, Jones, and Greene County have a college degree.

Beaufort County Community College representatives said, if it passes, they would expect to see programs like nursing, electrical engineering, and criminal justice spike in enrollment. That means they’d have to look at increasing the number of classes and faculty members to accommodate more students.

“It would take the worry out of it for students and it would give them a motivation in high school to do well,” said Crystal Ange, Vice President of Academics at BCCC.

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