WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College has funding available to help students overcome unforeseen financial emergencies and maintain their enrollment in order to complete programs of study.
According to PCC Director of Grants Management Julie R. Crippen, the funding comes through North Carolina’s Finish Line Grants Program, which was established in 2018 to help students ‘cross the finish line and graduate.’
Crippen said more than $101,994 was awarded to PCC students in the first two years of the Finish Line program. In 2019, the college received more than 180 Finish Line applications and approved funding for 113 of them — the average award being $467.
Finish Line funding amounts vary, but students can receive as much as $1,000 in a semester to pay for a wide range of expenses, including tuition, books and fees, housing, transportation, child/dependent care, utility bills, medical needs, and accommodations for individuals with disabilities.
Earlier this year, PCC President Lawrence Rouse said the emergency assistance had achieved its purpose. The grants, he added, “made a world of difference to the students” who received them.
“North Carolina’s Finish Line program has proven to be an invaluable financial resource for students who have faced the very real possibility of having to drop out of college when a crisis arose,” Rouse said. “Many of those individuals have told us in person that they would not have been able to continue their studies at PCC without the assistance they received through the Finish Line Grants program.”
To be considered for Finish Line funding, Crippen said students must be enrolled in an eligible PCC program. They must have completed more than 50 percent of their curriculum’s credit requirements with at least a 2.0 GPA, she said, adding that funding is not available to Pitt’s Associate in General Education and University Transfer students, per grant guidelines.
“Applying for a Finish Line grant is not an action to be taken lightly,” Crippen said. “The program requires students to register with the NCWorks Career Center, which is a four-hour process, and they must show proof of their emergency through documentation. If it’s emergency assistance with rent or an electric bill, for example, the applicant must have proper documentation of their need from a landlord or utility company.”
For more information on Finish Line Grants at PCC, students should contact the college’s counseling office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.