DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Durham Technical Community College is offering some students the chance to go to college tuition-free starting this fall.

Durham Tech tells CBS 17 high school students who are graduating this year or graduated in 2021 can attend tuition-free for two years starting this fall as long as they meet the following requirements:

  • Graduate from a North Carolina high school or earn a high school equivalency in 2021 or 2022.
  • Be admitted to a Durham Tech credit program;
  • Be a first-time college student. Students who participated in Career and College Promise and Early/Middle College High School are eligible;
  • Complete the 2022-23 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (Durham Tech’s school code is 005448.);
  • Be a resident of North Carolina as determined by the Residency Determination Service;
  • Enroll in a curriculum program during the Fall 2022 semester;
  • Enroll in at least six credit hours;
  • Have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from $0 – $15,000. (“EFC” is based upon student’s FAFSA determination);
  • Meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirement.

The college tells CBS 17 that if a student receives a federal Pell grant or state funds, like the Longleaf Commitment Grant, Durham Tech will pay for whatever’s left of that student’s tuition.

Enrollment has been down for the last couple of years but school leaders said they’re expecting more students to return in the fall and this is one way to make sure they’re taken care of financially.

“This is something we’ve been thinking about since COVID hit. We knew that the pandemic was going to cause a lot of people to press pause on higher education, just the realities hitting their families and themselves,” Buxton said.

If you’re already a Durham Tech student but graduated high school last year, you’re still eligible for this program.