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Local Universities Roll Out Free Tuition Program For North Carolinians

Source: News & Observer

For those seeking higher education, the financial burden of tuition has always been a major concern. However, local universities are hoping to make obtaining a college degree more affordable by offering free tuition. 

UNC Asheville is one of many universities that are rolling out a free tuition program for North Carolina residents. Through a new program called Access Asheville, the university will cover the full cost of tuition and fees for North Carolina students whose family income is $80,000 or less. 

“This will provide an affordable path to pursue an undergraduate college degree for those who may have previously thought it would be out of reach financially,” stated UNC Asheville interim Chancellor Kimberly van Noort, in a press release. “We are excited about the opportunity Access Asheville will create for more students who are ready to engage with the increasingly complex needs of our region, state, and nation.”

Back in June, Duke University also announced that it will provide free tuition to undergraduate students from North Carolina and South Carolina with family incomes of $150,000 or less starting this fall.

“By providing even more equitable access to a Duke education and ensuring students have the resources they need to truly thrive while here at Duke, we will also make our campus community stronger,” stated Duke president Vincent Price, in a press release.

The following month, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill announced that it would be providing free tuition and fees to students from North Carolina families making less than $80,000 a year as well. 

Free tuition will be offered beginning with the incoming 2024 undergraduate class, according to a press release.

According to The News & Observer, North Carolina students will be required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to verify their family income. 

Students will also be required to verify their North Carolina residency status.

For students interested in attending other schools, The NC Promise program offers lowered tuition costs to $500 per semester at four UNC System schools for North Carolina residents: Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, UNC Pembroke, and Western Carolina University.

The program does not apply to graduate programs at these universities.

According to the UNC System website, the program has no eligibility requirements, however, students who enroll in the program may still have to cover additional housing and meal plan fees.


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