Housing assistance is now available to Lumbee students enrolled at UNC Pembroke thanks to a new program announced by the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.
Housing director Bradley Locklear stated applications are being accepted for the new Student Housing Voucher Program. The tribe has allocated federal funds to provide 50 college students a $300-a-month voucher per semester to supplement housing costs on or off campus. It would provide up to $1,500 per semester.
“This is a great opportunity for our enrolled members,” said Locklear, during a recent press conference. “This gives our tribal members an option to go to college and alleviate some of the housing dilemma they may have.”
Applicants must have a household income below 80 percent of the national median income and live in Robeson, Hoke, Scotland or Cumberland counties. Enrolled applicants must be full-time students pursuing a degree and have a 3.0 GPA and upon acceptance maintain a 2.5 GPA or higher. Graduate students are also eligible. Recipients must commit to 20 hours of community service per semester for tribal activities.
“Some of our students at UNCP, drive to school and sit in their car between classes,” said Tribal Chairman Harvey Godwin Jr. “Some of our kids can’t afford to live on campus. We believe if we can find a way for them to live on campus, they will take advantage of the true college experience.
“With the scholarships that are available to our students, combined with this housing voucher, we feel like this will give our students the tools they need to be successful at the university level.”
Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings applauded the voucher program, insisting it will address student loan debt, which stands at $1.4 trillion nationwide.
“Students are graduating from four-year institutions $25,000 to $30,000 in debt on average,” he said. “This will help change that. I’d love to see a student graduate without the student debt related to housing.
“The need for this is tremendous. To really have a good college experience, a student needs to stay on campus and become immersed in campus life.”
The voucher program is a great addition to NC Promise’s low tuition and UNCP’s merit scholarship program, according to Lois Williams, association vice chancellor for Enrollment.
“These programs have the ability to provide students with a pathway to a full college experience,” she said.
The program is also open to Lumbee students attending or planning to attend Fayetteville State University, Methodist University and St. Andrews University.
Applications are available at the tribe’s main complex located at 6984 N.C. 711 in Pembroke. For more information, contact Janice Locklear at 910.522.5161 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings and Tribal Chairman Harvey Godwin (center) are pictured with representatives with the Public Schools of Robeson County, Scotland County Schools, Hoke County Schools, UNCP, Lumbee Tribe and St. Andrews University.