Time is ticking for students to register for free summer class this year, which closes on April 15.
A Feb. 17 email from Scholarships and Student Aid explained that students will qualify for free summer classes if they complete their academic advising and register for summer sessions by the deadline.
Funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
NCCU Director of Scholarships and Student Aid Sharon Oliver encourages students to enroll and that the university wants to help during the pandemic.
“We want students to continue their enrollment. We know that during the pandemic families and students have experienced different financial challenges,” Oliver said.
“We want them to know that NCCU cares. We want to see them excel, and we want to see them achieve their dreams.”
Priority registration for upperclassmen opened on March 1, and registration for all students opened on March 14.
Imani Pippen, a mass communication junior, said students have been given enough time to take advantage of the free tuition.
“I believe the April 15th deadline gives students enough time to apply, and the reason why I say that is because I was part of priority registration so I was able to register at the beginning of March,” Pippen said.
“I know regular registration starts on March 14th, so people have at least a month to apply.”
Both online and in-person summer students qualify for free tuition. Students do not need to have to be in Durham either.
This is not the first time NCCU has offered relief funds to students during the pandemic.
The university offered emergency aid grants directly to over 5,000 students in 2020 and in the following year, students were offered approximately $8 million in aid to cover unpaid student balances, textbook vouchers, and housing stipends.
This year NCCU also provided grants directly to students with economic needs and free laptops to new first-year, transfer, and graduate students.
Clayton Mack, NCCU Associate Director of Extended Studies, said free tuition will provide some financial relief and help students graduate on time.
“Amongst the African American students we serve, financial issues are the number one barrier to graduating on time,” Mack said.
“Being able to take this load off our students is fantastic and we’re happy to do it.”
The Higher Education Relief Fund, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, will cover the costs.
The CARES Act – passed in 2020 by Congress – was a $2 trillion economic stimulus bill in response to COVID-19.
For students like Jazmyne Abney, a psychology and political science senior, the tuition assistance provided great relief.
“It felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders,” Abney said.
“I had not taken summer classes before this point, and I was worried about the cost and what that would look like for me and my family. Now I’ll definitely be able to focus on doing well in my classes rather than worrying about how to afford them.“
Students who register before the deadline will be automatically awarded the funds. No application or essay will be needed.
Students who register for Summer I and/or Summer II classes can view and accept their summer award offers through their myEOL account.