RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina community college students hit by an unexpected financial crunch could have a new option to help them complete their degree.

Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday he’s tapping into a federal program that could provide grants of up to $1,000 per semester for students close to finishing their degree or credential.

The program will leverage up to $7 million in federal funds to help students pay for course materials, housing, medical needs, dependent care, or other financial emergencies that students may face through no fault of their own.

“We know far too many students cite challenges other than academic reasons for not finishing school, and this program will help ensure more people can finish their training and get a good-paying job to support themselves and their families,” said Gov. Cooper.

“Many community college students juggle work, family, and life, so financial emergencies can bring their school work to a halt,” said Peter Hans, president of the North Carolina Community College System. “A Finish Line Grant could make all the difference to helping a student complete their degree or credential.”

Cooper asked legislators to approve spending $20 million for similar efforts to also help state university and private college students, but that wasn’t approved.

Community colleges have the option to participate in the Finish Line Grants program. The schools and local workforce development boards will apply for funding and decide on how to handle funding requests.

This article was written with the help of the Associated Press.

Copyright 2018, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.




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