What is the WCC Education Promise scholarship?

WCC Education Promise is a two-year, last-dollar scholarship designed to ensure every qualifying student graduating from high school in Wilkes, Ashe and Alleghany can get a college degree from Wilkes Community College tuition-free. This scholarship program makes sure every qualifying student is 100% covered for the roughly $2,572 annual cost for tuition and institutional fees.

How does it work?

Students complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and get whatever federal and state aid they are qualified to receive to cover their tuition and fees. Then, WCC Education Promise covers 100% of the balance students owe for their tuition and fees, up to a total of $1,286 per semester. Students and their families are responsible for other costs associated with going to college, such as buying books, individual class fees and general living expenses. Students may pursue other scholarships to cover some of those costs.

How do I qualify?

WCC Education Promise is available to 2021 high school graduates (public, private, or home school) in Wilkes, Ashe, or Alleghany who meet these requirements:

  • Earn a minimum 2.0 unweighted GPA in high school.
  • Reside in Wilkes, Ashe, or Alleghany.
    • Residency means:
      • Graduate from service area high school (public, private, or home school) and
      • 1 year* living Wilkes, Ashe, Alleghany, or Watauga (appeals may be considered, such as a student relocating during senior year).
    • Students who fulfill the residency requirements stated above but who are classified as out-of-state for tuition purposes, including undocumented students, may receive the maximum scholarship amount equivalent to in-state tuition.
  • Enroll at WCC the academic year after high school graduation. Students can enroll in the fall semester or spring semester following their graduation from high school.
  • Complete FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
  • Complete WCC scholarship application.
  • Enroll full-time in at least 12 credit hours. This requirement aligns with what is considered fulltime to qualify for the Pell Grant.

How do I apply?

  1. Complete the NC Residency Determination. (Priority Deadline: June 1)
  2. Apply to WCC. (Priority Deadline: June 1)
  3. Submit FAFSA. (Priority Deadline: June 1)
    • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form students must fill out to get any financial aid from the federal government to help pay for college, such as Pell Grant. This must be completed by the deadline each year for eligibility.
    • If the student’s FAFSA is selected for verification by the Department of Education, the process used to check the accuracy of a student’s FAFSA, they will be sent a letter and emails to their WCC email account from the WCC Financial Aid Office; these will explain what documentation is needed from the student; the student may also log into Self-Service and choose Financial Aid to see what documents/information is needed. If the student has been selected for verification, his/her financial aid application is not complete until all verification is completed.
  4. Complete WCC Scholarship Application. (Priority Deadline: June 1)
  5. Submit official high school transcripts to the WCC Admissions Office. (Priority Deadline: July 1)
  6. Submit financial aid verification documents to the WCC Financial Aid Office. (Priority Deadline: July 1)

How do I maintain/renew the scholarship for two years?

To maintain and renew the WCC Education Promise scholarship for the full two years, students must:

  • Complete FAFSA each year.
    • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form students must fill out to get any financial aid from the federal government to help pay for college, such as Pell Grant. This must be completed by the deadline each year for eligibility.
    • If the student’s FAFSA is selected for verification by the Department of Education, the process used to check the accuracy of a student’s FAFSA, they will be sent a letter and emails to their WCC email account from the WCC Financial Aid Office; these will explain what documentation is needed from the student; the student may also log into Self-Service and choose Financial Aid to see what documents/information is needed. If the student has been selected for verification, his/her financial aid application is not complete until all verification is completed
  • Complete WCC scholarship application each year. This is one application the student fills out which matches them to all available scholarships.
  • Maintain a minimum college GPA 2.0. This is the institutional GPA, not the program GPA; the standard is consistent with most scholarship renewal requirements at WCC.
  • Enroll full-time in at least 12 credit hours. This requirement aligns with what is considered fulltime to qualify for the Pell Grant.
  • Complete 67% of credit hours attempted. Completing a course means a D or better.  Students must meet the minimum guidelines of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. See the Financial Aid page for additional information.
  • Maintain continuous enrollment. Students must remain enrolled semester-to-semester throughout the two years; the exception is summer semester, unless required by your program.
  • Complete required tutoring and support. If tutoring or extra support is required, students will be encouraged to seek assistance or risk losing their scholarship.
  • Attend required meetings with student advisor. Students are required to meet with their advisor at least once per semester to review their program/career plan and progress to date, register for classes, and troubleshoot challenges.
  • Adhere to Student Code of Conduct. Any student conduct warning, probation, or suspension of any type as a WCC student could disqualify the student for this scholarship and other scholarships.

Additional Information

  • This scholarship is not limited to certain program/career pathways and is not limited to certain credentials – it includes certificate, diploma, and/or associate degree credentials.
  • This scholarship covers tuition and institutional fees; it does not cover course or program-specific fees.
  • This scholarship does not cover tuition and fees for courses outside of chosen credential program, consistent with financial aid standards.
  • Summer semester tuition is not covered by this scholarship unless the student’s program pathway requires summer semester classes.
  • Receiving the Education Promise does not prevent students from applying to other WCC or outside scholarships.

Who do I contact for more information?

Contact the WCC Career Coach at your high school, or reach out to WCC Financial Aid Office at 336-838-6144.