Forsyth Technical Community College announces the class of 2021 college commitment

Published 3:30 pm Sunday, July 4, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Forsyth Tech is committing to all 2021 North Carolina high school graduates free college for at least one academic year, including tuition, books, and fees.

WINSTON-SALEM — Forsyth Tech recently announced the new Class of 2021 College Commitment. This commitment is unique among community colleges in North Carolina because it offers free tuition, books, and fees to any 2021 North Carolina high school graduate, no matter their background, financial status, or any other special criteria.

President of Forsyth Tech Dr. Janet Spriggs remarked, “At Forsyth Tech, free means free — we are not offering free college with stipulations. When we say any 2021 high school graduate, we mean anyone who graduates from any high school, including home schools, in North Carolina,” The crowd of nearly 200 recent high school graduates and their families erupted in applause as the president announced this opportunity.

“It’s certainly not every day that you hear a college creating a bold program together for students in a public-private partnership,” said Paul Wiles, vice chair of the Forsyth Tech Board of Trustees. “By leveraging funds like the donation made by Truist for the Hope & Opportunity Scholarship and combining that with the state and federal funds, we are able to create an unprecedented opportunity for the Class of 2021.”

Several leaders joined the announcement panel, including Gov. Roy Cooper, who delivered virtual remarks to the crowd say, “Thanks to the great leaders here at Forsyth Tech, and the combined use of state, federal and local funds, high school graduates who choose Forsyth Tech as their academic home for the next year or two will be able to attend for free.” Cooper’s generous North Carolina Longleaf Commitment Grant will be a large portion of the funds used for this commitment.

Dr. Spriggs was also joined by K-12 school system partners, WS/FCS Superintendent Tricia McManus and Stokes County Superintendent Dr. Brad Rice. Their comments reflected their joint commitment to creating a college-going culture in all of their communities.

“As a parent myself, I can only imagine the excitement that other parents might be feeling as they learn about this transformational chance for their graduating senior to get their first year of college for free, right here in our community,” said Wiles.

The Class of 2021 College Commitment is a program supporting N.C. high school graduates from the class of 2021 for the 2021-2022 academic year. However, the college is currently seeking support to continue and sustain this kind of program.

Any 2021 North Carolina high school graduate who wishes to take advantage of this opportunity must 1) apply to Forsyth Tech, 2) complete the free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Forsyth Tech Alternative FAFSA, 3) be enrolled at least half time (e.g., six college credits or more). The college is ready and able to help support students through the process. Interested students should go to

Forsyth Technical Community College is funded by both the state of North Carolina and the local Forsyth County Board of Commissioners.