SCC’s ‘Promise’ to Students of Sampson County

A new program at Sampson Community College offers students the chance to fill unmet needs beyond what is covered by financial aid or scholarships. The Sampson Promise will remove financial obstacles for many Sampson County students and allow them to attend college at virtually no cost in some cases.

Dr. Bill Starling, President of SCC says the cost of attendance remains the single biggest hurdle for many students wanting to attend a community college or university. “Federal financial aid programs have been important in assisting many young people; however, a number of students do not meet all the requirements to receive aid and are left to struggle to meet the costs of attendance,” he says. “Sampson Promise will help these students pay the cost of tuition for up to two years allowing them to complete an applied science degree or to complete a transfer degree before moving to a senior institution.  This program is possible because of the united efforts of the Sampson Community College Foundation Directors and the College’s Board of Trustees.”

“Removing barriers is a topic of many administrative conversations at SCC,” adds Blair Hairr, Dean of Student Services. “In my opinion, removing any financial barrier to achieve a degree is one of the college’s greatest accomplishments. In addition to our open-door policy, the Sampson Promise further secures the opportunity for Sampson County high school graduates to pursue a higher education.”


Sampson Promise is designed to help students in Sampson County.

Under this program, Sampson Community College will pay all tuition and fees not covered by financial aid or other scholarships for up to four semesters towards program of study. The new program is open to students who graduate from a Sampson County high school with an unweighted 3.0 GPA, who verify North Carolina residency and enroll full-time at Sampson Community College.

“SCC’s mission is the force that drives what we do here, and Sampson Promise is an example of that mission,” says Wanda Capps, Vice President of Academic Affairs at SCC.  “Sampson Promise will provide support and the means for high school graduates to obtain a college degree and increase access to higher education.  Sampson Promise not only will assist students but it will have an even bigger impact upon our communities and families.”

To stay in the program, a student would have to be enrolled for twelve credit hours each semester while at SCC, maintain a 2.5 GPA and follow the student code of conduct while enrolled. This new option follows news that East Carolina University and UNC Wilmington have formed partnerships with Sampson Community College to make it easier for college students to transition from SCC to those schools seamlessly.

Lisa Turlington, Dean of Advancement for the college, says the program sets up a high potential for success for those that want to achieve it. “The Foundation is pleased to support this exciting initiative that insures higher education for all students in Sampson County who are willing to work hard and commit to college,” says Turlington. “The Foundation’s unanimous vote to support the Sampson Promise sends a clear message of their values and priorities.”

Sampson County high school counselors have information about Sampson Promise or students may contact SCC at 910-900-4319 or at