Before finishing high school, Maggie Mehaffey started taking classes at Haywood Community College free of charge through the Career and College Promise Program. When she finished high school, Mehaffey wanted to take the smartest route to dental school. She heard about HCC’s Tuition Free Guarantee and made what she calls the logical choice to attend the first two years of college for free. Mehaffey is completing a college transfer Associate in Science degree.

“Because I received the Tuition Free Guarantee Scholarship, my family was able to save money. I have not had to get a job,” Mehaffey explains. “I can focus more on studying and enjoy college.” As Student Government Association president, she meets students from all different programs across campus and plans events everyone on campus can enjoy.

As the only institution of higher learning in Haywood County, HCC is striving to make college affordable for everyone in our community. As part of that effort, the HCC Foundation will offer Tuition Free Guarantee Scholarships for all 2020 Haywood County High School graduates this upcoming year. This includes public, private and homeschool graduates.

The HCC Tuition Free Guarantee will pay up to the full  amount of in-state tuition  and select fees for any 2020 qualifying high school graduate from Haywood County who does not obtain the  total amount needed through federal financial aid and/or scholarships. This guarantee will be applicable for up to two years (fall and spring semesters only) of enrollment as long as the student continues to meet predefined criteria.

The HCC Tuition Free Guarantee is a great way for students already taking advantage of Career and College Promise tuition free classes to continue classes free after receiving a high school diploma. It is also a way to knock off two years of college debt for those wishing to eventually attend a four-year school. Students can save thousands of dollars by making HCC their first choice.

There are several important upcoming dates. HCC will hold Financial Aid Workshops Thursday, February 20 and Thursday, February 27, 3-7 p.m. in Student Services. No appointment is necessary. Priority deadline to apply for the Tuition Free Guarantee Scholarship is July 17.  

Initial qualification criteria for graduates to receive HCC Tuition Free Guarantee include: minimum high school unweighted GPA of 2.8 to indicate college readiness; enrollment in a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester at HCC; annually complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the HCC scholarship application; and meet with a high school career coach, the high school program coordinator, or a success coach at HCC before enrollment. Scholarships are subject to approval by the scholarship committee.

HCC also offers a wide variety of financial aid opportunities for individuals who are not recent high school graduates or do not meet the criteria for the Tuition Free Guarantee.  Such opportunities include federal grants, North Carolina community grants, federal work-study, veteran’s assistance, and an extensive number of both academic and needs-based scholarships. 

For more information on the Tuition Free Guarantee, or any of our other forms of financial aid, please visit or contact us at or 828-627-4756.