Financial Aid

Purpose of Financial Aid

The purpose of financial aid is to help remove the financial barriers that stand in the way of a student’s education. The Tri-County Community College (TCCC) Financial Aid staff is committed to the philosophy that a high-quality education should be affordable and accessible to everyone in our community.

Types of Financial Aid

Federal Pell Grant

A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid unless the student totally withdraws from all classes in a semester or enrollment period. Pell Grants are classified as Title IV federal aid and awarded only to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need by completing a FAFSA. Students are limited to receiving a Pell Grant for the equivalent of twelve full-time enrolled semesters. This applies to ALL Federal Pell Grant eligible students and includes ALL years of receiving Pell Grant funds. Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree do not qualify for a Pell Grant. Pell Grants may be used to pay a student’s direct educational costs, such as tuition, fees, and books, as well as indirect educational costs, such as transportation expenses. Students should apply well in advance of the semester they plan to attend. The federal processor must receive a student’s FAFSA by June 30 to be considered for the current academic year. There are no exceptions to this deadline.

Additional Pell

Pell recipients who attend full-time (12+ credit hours) in the fall and subsequent spring semester may be eligible to receive additional Pell Grant funds for the summer semester. To qualify for Additional Pell, students must have remaining Lifetime Pell Eligibility and unmet need, maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress, and enroll at least half-time (6+ credit hours) in courses that are required for students program of study. Students must maintain an enrollment status of at least 6 credit hours through the Financial Aid Census date in order to qualify for Additional Pell. If students drop, withdraw, or never attend one or more classes, resulting in enrollment status of less than 6 credit hours, students will not receive the additional award for the remaining class(es). This will result in students owing any outstanding tuition, fees and bookstore charges and/or being purged from remaining classes for nonpayment.

Please click here for more information about Year-Round Pell Grant.

Federal Direct Loan Program

TCCC no longer participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program, which includes Federal Stafford Loans offered to students, and Federal PLUS Loans offered to students’ parents. Loans previously provided by TCCC must be REPAID with interest. For more information regarding your past loans, please visit

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The FSEOG is designed to supplement existing financial aid for undergraduates who have demonstrated exceptional financial need. It is classified as Title IV federal aid. This grant is awarded to eligible applicants for the fall and spring semesters. While no deadline exists, students are encouraged to submit their FAFSA as soon as they file their taxes because the application date is one criterion for the award. FSEOG funds are limited and awarded on a first come, first served basis.

Federal Work-Study Program (FWS)

This program is designed to assist students who need extra income to continue their education at TCCC and provide valuable work experience. To be eligible for this program, a student must first complete a FAFSA. Work-Study position announcements will be posted on the Financial Aid page at at the beginning of each academic year, or whenever there are position openings throughout the year. Deadlines for applying are posted on each advertisement. Students are required to reapply annually. Students may be eligible for the Work-Study program even if they are not eligible for the Federal Pell Grant. Students can only earn FWS funds in combination with other resources up to the amount of the student's financial need.

Download application HERE 

Finish Line Grant

Do you have an unforeseen financial emergency that may prevent you from completing your program of study? If so, TCCC may have resources to help you.

In July 2018, NC Governor Roy Cooper announced the Finish Line Grant program. This program helps eliminate the burden of unforeseen financial emergencies which may interfere with students’ studies. The Finish Line Grant program is administered through TCCC’s Financial Aid Office. This program may provide up to $1000 per semester to eligible curriculum and occupational education students.

The Finish Line Grants are available to TCCC students who meet all of the following:

  1. Have an unforeseen financial hardship.
  2. Are enrolled in a postsecondary curriculum degree, diploma, or certificate program or qualifying continuing education certification program.
  3. Have completed at least 25% of the postsecondary degree, diploma, or certificate program.
  4. Have a GPA of 2.0 or greater.
  5. Have remaining educational costs, as determined by the financial aid office Cost of Attendance calculation.

The Finish Line Grant may help cover costs such as:

  • Transportation Expenses
  • Child Care
  • Dependent Care
  • Housing
  • Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities
  • Utility Bills
  • Medical Needs
  • Tuition, Fees, and Books

Students who feel they meet the criteria listed above for the Finish Line Grant are encouraged to complete a Finish Line Grant application and submit the application (along with required documentation indicated on the application) to the Financial Aid Office. Once received, a Committee will review the student’s request and the student will be notified of the outcome of the Committee’s decision. If approved, the College will collect vendor information required to process a payment to be sent to the vendor to pay towards the student’s unforeseen emergency. Payments will be made directly to the vendor, not to the student.

Download application HERE 

North Carolina Scholarship

The NC Scholarship works with federal aid to provide a guaranteed amount of financial assistance with additional state funding provided to students with exceptional need. Students enrolling at a NC Community College with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $75,000 or less and an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $7,500 or less, as reported on the FAFSA, are guaranteed at least $2,800 from combined federal and state aid. Eligible students must be a NC resident, enrolled for at least 6 credit hours, and be admitted, enrolled, and classified as an undergraduate student in matriculated status in an eligible degree, diploma, or certificate program.

North Carolina Childcare Grant

This grant was established by the NC General Assembly to assist student-parents with their financial responsibilities for childcare expenses so they may complete their educational goals. Students must apply separately for this grant at the TCCC Financial Aid office, and they must also demonstrate financial need through their current processed FAFSA.

North Carolina Targeted Assistance

This program is designed to assist students in specific programs of study in which enrollment is substantially less than class capacity but for which there is a high demand for employees in the service area labor force. Once these programs have been determined, all students enrolled in the identified program(s) will be notified via their TCCC student email if eligible for this available funding. The Targeted Assistance is generally awarded at the 60% point of the semester.

Other North Carolina Grants, Scholarships, and Loans

Grants, Need-based Scholarships, Merit Scholarships, and Loans - For more information please visit

Forgivable Education Loans for Service

For more information, please visit

Other Financial Aid Programs

Other sources of financial assistance are available through the following organizations to those who qualify. Interested students should contact these organizations directly to apply.

  • The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provides financial assistance to income-eligible individuals meeting certain federal eligibility requirements and who are enrolled in approved curriculum. The program is administered by Southwestern Workforce Development Board through the NC Works Career Center Tri-County.
  • The North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation provides services to persons with disabilities in order to help them obtain employment.
  • The Cherokee Education and Training Adult Education Program administer educational assistance programs for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • Veteran’s Benefits - The Department of Veterans Affairs provides assistance to eligible members of the National Guard, Selected Reservists, eligible veterans, and certain veteran dependents. The Department of Veterans Affairs is the final authority for determining eligibility.Apply for education benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs at The TCCC Veteran Student Enrollment Guide can be found on the College website at 

Special Note: The Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-407) was signed into law on December 31, 2018. As a result, beginning on August 1, 2019, Tri-County Community College will allow GI Bill® and VR&E beneficiaries (Chapter 33 and Chapter 31 beneficiaries) to attend a course of education or training for up to 90 days from the date the beneficiary provides a certificate of eligibility, or valid VAF 28-1905. This 90-day time frame will allow a student to attend the course until VA provides payment to the institution.

Additionally, GI Bill® and VR&E beneficiaries (Chapter 33 and Chapter 31 beneficiaries) will not be penalized, or charged extra fees, in the event the VA makes late payments for tuition and fees. However, veterans, who benefit from Chapter 33 or Chapter 31, must be aware that Section 103 requires a State Approving Agency (SAA), or the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) when acting in the role of the SAA, to disapprove certain courses of education. VA can grant a waiver to these requirements.

If you have questions or need assistance in applying for VA education benefits, please contact TCCC’s VA School Certifying Official at 828-837-6810 or visit the Financial Aid Office in the Harper Building on the main campus.

Net Price Calculator

Estimate your net cost to attend Tri-County Community College! Using the net price calculator, you may receive an estimate of your eligibility for financial aid at Tri-County Community College and estimate your out-of-pocket expenses. We hope that the results of the net price calculator are useful to you in your planning process.

Welcome to the Tri-County Community College Net Price Calculator! Lets Get Started!

Financial Aid Q’s and A’s

You first must meet financial aid eligibility requirements. You should apply for financial aid at the same time you apply for admission to TCCC. For faster results, you should submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at and add TCCC’s school code (009430). This process usually takes 1 to 2 weeks to get results. The other way to apply is to complete a FAFSA form and mail it to the address on the front of the FAFSA. This can take 2 to 3 weeks to get the results back. You must re-apply annually. Apply for financial aid as early as October 1 for the following year’s fall semester. Utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to obtain your/parent(s) (if applicable) tax information. You should re-apply no later than the summer semester for the upcoming academic year.

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Federal Work-Study Program*
  • NC Community College Grant NC Education Lottery Scholarship
  • NC Childcare Grant*
  • NC Targeted Assistance Program
  • NC Less Than Half Time Program Scholarships*
  • Veteran’s Educational Benefits(Note: These programs have additional requirements to the FAFSA.) Contact the financial aid office.

No. If you completed a FAFSA for the current award year and another school processed it, the results can be requested from the Department of Education, provided you have your current Student Aid Report (SAR). You will need to call 1-800-433-3243 or go to and add TCCC’s school code.

TCCC’s title IV school code is 009430. This number must be included on the FAFSA if mailing.

You should submit/mail the requested documentation to TCCC’s financial aid office as soon as possible to prevent delay in processing your financial aid eligibility. Please review your documents for completion including needed signature(s).

No, you may only receive financial aid at one college at a time. However, if you are attending two institutions simultaneously, you may qualify for a consortium agreement. Contact the financial aid office for details.

The financial aid office will be able to make an award once the following criteria have been met:

  • All requested documents/forms have been completed accurately and returned.
  • The FAFSA data has been verified (if applicable).
  • The student has been accepted in an eligible program. (Note: Not all programs offered are eligible for financial aid. Check with the financial aid office to see if your chosen program is eligible.)
  • The student has registered for classes. (If you reduce the number of credit hours after your initial registration you must notify the financial aid office, or you could owe some or all federal funding back.)

The amount of Pell Grant eligibility is determined by the Department of Education. The information you provide on your FAFSA is placed into a formula which determines your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number. The EFC number represents the amount determined by the Department of Education that you are reasonably expected to pay towards your education for one academic year. Students are limited to receiving a Pell Grant for the equivalent of twelve full-time enrolled semesters. This applies to ALL Federal Pell Grant eligible students and includes ALL years of receiving Pell Grant funds. Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree do not qualify for a Pell Grant.

The amount of your Pell Grant is determined by a combination of your EFC number and the number of hours for which you are enrolled. For the 2021/2022 academic year, the Pell Grant ranges from $672 to a maximum of $6,495 annually. NOTE: The Pell Grant will pay for classes under your program of study only.

Once eligibility has been determined, your financial aid award(s) will be entered into your student account for you to charge your tuition, fees, and book charges against. If charging books and supplies against your financial aid in the bookstore, you need to take your registration statement to bookstore (unless you are receiving other sources of financial assistance such as WIOA or Vocational Rehabilitation). About 35 days after the first day of class, your refund (if applicable) will be disbursed to your selected refund preference with BankMobile. For more information about BankMobile, visit this link: (See the college website and postings for additional information.) Also, if you receive any type of financial aid assistance, you will receive a 1098T yearly from TCCC for tax filing purposes. Please remember any type of financial assistance received is considered income to the household and MUST be reported on annual tax return.

Yes, we recommend you contact the financial aid office before you withdraw from a class. Withdrawing from all of your scheduled classes could result in having to repay all or a portion of your financial aid and/or loss of future financial aid eligibility. According to federal regulations, whatever amount of financial aid you did not earn must be returned to the financial aid program(s).

In order to receive financial aid, you must be maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). You SAP status will be evaluated at the time you apply for financial aid and at the end of each semester enrolled. If you fail to maintain SAP, it could result in loss of financial aid. Please refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy at or in the TCCC General Catalog & Student Handbook.

You are eligible for a Pell Grant until you have earned a Bachelor’s degree or received your Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) amount of Pell Grant (12 full-time semesters). For more information contact the financial aid office.

The federal government classifies you has an independent student if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are 24 years old or older.
  • You are married.
  • You have legal dependents other than a spouse.
  • You are an orphan/dependent of the court or both your parents are deceased.
  • You are currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training.
  • You are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • If a court in your state of legal residence declares that you are an emancipated minor, or have placed you in a legal guardianship
  • You are an unaccompanied youth who is homeless determined by a school/school liaison or a director of a shelter or homeless youth center.

Contact the financial aid office, if you feel that you are independent, but do not meet at least one of the criteria above.

If you’ve had an involuntary change or reduction in employment, unexpected medical expenses, or any other circumstances that result in a significant change in your income, you should contact the financial aid office to find out if your income can be re-evaluated.

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