Community College

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Some students applying to UNC system schools next year may not get an outright acceptance or rejection letter. Instead, the university may say, “We’ll take you, but go to community college first.” 

More than a third of UNC system students start college, but never finish or take longer than six years to graduate. Many of these students are those whose grades and scores are just good enough to merit an acceptance. Maybe they’re not prepared or life just gets in the way.   

The John M Belk Endowment is giving $10 million to help community college students in North Carolina complete their degrees.  

Most of that money will go toward creating a dozen centers throughout the state that connect students with resources to help stabilize their finances.  That may include finding financial aid for tuition, but also identifying tax credits and benefits like food stamps and Medicaid they aren’t currently tapping. 

John M Belk Endowment Director Kristy Teskey says the group is intentionally focusing on community colleges. 

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Transferring from community college to UNC system schools can be tough, especially since students are never quite sure which credits will transfer. A new agreement between the two systems will give students a better chance of receiving credit for their community college courses.