BTC REPORT: Opening Opportunity's Door: Financial Aid for NC Community Colleges Builds Prosperity

By Alexandra Forter Sirota
BTC Director
Feb. 2011

Executive Summary

  • To meet the economy’s demand for a more educated workforce, North Carolina must make completion of education and skills training a priority for adult workers. By 2018, nearly 60 percent of jobs in NC are projected to require post-secondary education.
  • Nearly 2.5 million North Carolinians aged 25 to 54 have no post-secondary degree. That number is roughly equivalent to the next 30 high school graduating classes in the state.
  • State-based financial aid is an essential tool to support student’s access and completion of post-secondary education but requires specific tailoring to meet the needs of adult workers.
  • Tuition alone at community colleges increased by 17.6 percent from 2004-2005 to 2009-2010. Over that same period the N.C. Community College Grant saw a 65 percent increase in the inflation-adjusted dollars awarded to eligible students. However, due to the increase in the number of eligible recipients for that program, the inflation-adjusted grant from this program actually declined for the average student.
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