NC residents may be eligible for $5,000 college scholarship

Published 4:32 pm Tuesday, January 23, 2024

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North Carolinians from households earning $80,000 or less will receive a minimum scholarship of $5,000 to attend any University of North Carolina System institution, provided they fill out and submit a FAFSA by June 1, 2024.

Students and parents can get free help with their FAFSA submissions at dozens of institutions around the state on FAFSA Day, Jan. 27, 2024.

This year’s FAFSA Day provides support for families who have met with complications during the federal rollout of the recently overhauled FAFSA application. More than 60 North Carolina institutions — including public universities, community colleges, and private colleges and universities —will host free events from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Jan. 27. Any student or parent who needs FAFSA assistance is welcome.

The FAFSA is a critical tool for college goers seeking grants, scholarships, loans, and other forms of student financial aid. For North Carolinians from low- and middle-income families, a completed FAFSA is the only application needed to determine eligibility for the Next NC Scholarship.

The Next NC Scholarship combines federal Pell grants and state-funded financial aid to provide students enough money to cover half, if not all, of their tuition and fees at any UNC System institution. Students with greater need can qualify for even more support.

The scholarship also covers the entirety of tuition and fees at any of the state’s 58 community colleges. Eligibility requirements include North Carolina residency, a high school diploma or equivalent, and a household income requirement of $80,000 or less.

“The Next NC Scholarship is yet another example of how North Carolina is making higher education more accessible and affordable,” said UNC System President Peter Hans. “We’ve worked to streamline this effort for years because we understand that for many, financial aid is the deciding factor between going to college or not. The Next NC scholarship provides money for college that students don’t have to pay back — a tremendous opportunity for North Carolinians from all corners of our state.”

North Carolina’s median household income is $66,186, according to data collected by the United States Census Bureau from 2018-22. About 55% of all North Carolina households would qualify for the Next NC Scholarship, according to data provided by the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority.

UNC System institutions participating in FAFSA Day include:

Appalachian State University

East Carolina University

Elizabeth City State University

Fayetteville State University

North Carolina Central University

NC State University

University of North Carolina Asheville

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

University of North Carolina at Pembroke

University of North Carolina Wilmington

Western Carolina University

Winston-Salem State University