Bulldog Promise a Great Way to Earn a Degree, Tuition-Free

Statue of PCC's bulldog mascot outside of the Craig F. Goess Student Center.

WINTERVILLE—A Pitt Community College initiative offering Pitt County high school graduates a chance to earn a two-year degree tuition-free is flourishing in its third year.

The Bulldog Promise Scholarship Program that PCC established in the spring of 2021 is currently serving 148 members of Pitt County’s 2023 graduating class. The students represent seven Pitt County public high schools, two private schools, and five home schools. D.H. Conley, with 50 former students, has the highest participation, followed by South Central (28), Ayden-Grifton (22), Farmville Central (17) and North Pitt (10).

Brian Jones, PCC Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Services, said Bulldog Promise rewards local high school students for taking college courses at PCC by giving them an opportunity to finish what they started without having to pay for tuition. He explained that students awarded the scholarship receive up to four semesters of community college courses at PCC, tuition-free.

“Bulldog Promise is giving our dually-enrolled high school students a chance to save time and money on a college education,” Jones said. “While many of their peers are just getting started in higher education after receiving their diplomas, our Bulldog Promise scholars are nearing completion of a PCC credential that can lead to a four-year university for a bachelor’s degree or take them directly into the workforce.”

Jones said Bulldog Promise eligibility is limited to Pitt County high school students who have earned at least 12 curriculum credit hours (or four curriculum courses) at PCC with a 2.0 GPA or higher through North Carolina’s Career and College Promise (CCP) program and/or PCC-Pitt County Schools Technical Academy. To apply, they must also be high school seniors planning to enroll at Pitt in the fall semester immediately following their graduation.

Bulldog Promise scholars are enrolled in all five of PCC’s academic divisions this fall. The highest concentrations of students are enrolled in college transfer curricula (45) and Construction and Industrial Technology programming (45), including 20 who are working toward credentials in welding. Another 29 scholars are in the Associate in General Education program working to complete course requirements for admission to health sciences curricula, and 20 more are enrolled in Business Division programs.

Participation in the Bulldog Promise Scholarship Program has steadily increased in each year of its existence. There were 51 scholars in the first year, 97 in the second, and now 148.

“The program has grown for a number of reasons, including campus marketing, promotion through CCP, word of mouth, and assistance from high school guidance counselors,” Jones said. “We’ve been thrilled with the response Bulldog Promise has received and very much enjoy the opportunity to help local families save thousands of dollars on higher education.”

Jones said 80% of the 2021 class has either graduated from PCC or is still enrolled – mostly in health sciences programs – and 89% of the 2022 class has either graduated or is still enrolled.

Jones said applications for members of Pitt County’s Class of 2024 will be available in October in conjunction with “College Application Week.” He said those students can apply for Bulldog Promise Scholarships through their myPittcc accounts, adding that the application can be found under “Digital Forms” within the “Students” tab.

Additional information on the Bulldog Promise Scholarship Program is available on the “Bulldog Promise” page of the PCC website. Students may also reach out to Jones at cbjones0288@my.pittcc.edu or (252) 493-7867.