Beaufort County Community College reports 26% enrollment increase
BEAUFORT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - As many institutions have seen a decrease in enrollment during the pandemic, a local community college has experienced a surge.
In-person activities have returned to Beaufort County Community College and with them has come a population increase.
Since the 2020 fall semester, the school has gone up from 1,470 students to 1,904.
Jahime Perry is dual enrolled in the school through Washington County Early College High School. He’s excited to meet new people and get a normal education experience.
“I missed going to different classrooms,” Perry said “Just the overall bond, but still be safe with the mask. It’s a great thing.”
The enrollment increase is credited to the Beaufort Promise program. It covers all tuition and fees for students returning to the classroom.
Perry says he’s taking advantage of the program as he strives to become a doctor one day.
“That can save money out of my family’s pocket. And out of my pocket myself. It can cut down on stress and not be too much of a financial burden on me and my family. That really was a must for me.”
The program is funded through state and federal program funding, such as the North Carolina Longleaf Commitment and the American Rescue Plan.
School President David Loope believes covering the tuition of learners in Eastern North Carolina is essential.
“It’s absolutely critical for us to be able to spread the money as much as possible around the region,” Loope said. “In order to be able to reach as many people as possible and thus provide them the opportunity to come back to school and get them into the pipeline for the workforce.”
To be a part of the Beaufort Promise program, students must be full-time or part-time. It expires on March 16., 2023, but school leaders hope to extend it.
“It may not be available to all students after 2023,” Loope said. “We certainly hope to provide it to our most needy students after our current Beaufort Promise program lapses.
The school has also received more than $70,000 in scholarships to pay for textbooks for students.
For more information on the Beaufort Promise Program, contact the financial aid office.
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