CFCC nets $1.1 million for students hurt by Hurricane Florence

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Students will be eligible for up to $1,250 apiece

WILMINGTON — Cape Fear Community College students impacted by Hurricane Florence can soon apply for up to $1,250 to help cover their costs.

College leaders and elected officials gathered at the school’s downtown Wilmington campus Tuesday to announce the student grants. As part of an $800-million package approved by state legislators last week, North Carolina’s community college system will get $18.5 million for hurricane relief, including $5 million for student grants.

Of that, Cape Fear will get $1.1 million, CFCC President Jim Morton announced. The grants can cover not just academic expenses, but rent, utilities and other costs. Applications will be designed this week and sent out to students in the coming days.

Luis Mendoza, president of CFCC’s Student Government Association, said his family lost their home in Florence. And he’s not alone on campus.

“We have been seeing emails of students who are struggling to stay in class focused, and they’re withdrawing,” he said.

Morton said it’s still unclear how much of an additional $5 million — reserved for building repairs — Cape Fear could get. Peter Hans, president of the community college system, said the remaining $8.5 million is aimed at stabilizing the system by covering tuition receipts lost as students are forced to withdraw.

While CFCC expects the storm caused 10 percent of its students to withdraw, Hans said Carteret Community College in Morehead City anticipates a 20 percent hit to its enrollment.

“The effect on the receipts that they collect would have been tremendous, and that would have been shared between all 58 colleges in the system,” Hans told an audience at the Wilmington college Tuesday.

Reporter Cammie Bellamy can be reached at