Niche College Scholarship
Zina Kumok Image Written By: Zina Kumok | Edited By: Kevin Ladd | Updated: April 1, 2024

North Carolina Scholarships

North Carolina Scholarships

As college tuition skyrockets and student debt continues to be a major problem, applying for scholarships has become even more important. And while national awards may seem like the way to go, regional scholarships can be a forgotten funding source. Whether you're attending school in North Carolina or are from the state, you should strongly consider applying for North Carolina scholarships. These awards can be just as lucrative as any national awards you can find. The good news? You’ll be facing less competition. Keep reading to understand where to find North Carolina scholarships, how to qualify and how many different types of scholarships are available.

Continue reading the article below the scholarship list.

25 North Carolina Scholarships with Approaching Deadlines

What is a North Carolina Scholarship?

North Carolina scholarships are given to students who are either from the Tar Heel State or who are attending school there. Like any other kind of scholarship, they do not have to be paid back after you leave school.

North Carolina scholarships may require that students have demonstrated financial need or have certain academic accomplishments, and some scholarships even require both.

For example, the Cary Woman's Club College Scholarship for High School Seniors states that applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA during their high school junior year and have demonstrated financial need. Winners receive a $2,5000 award.

Some scholarships will have specific income or net worth limits to determine demonstrated financial need.

Where to find North Carolina Scholarships

There are so many different ways to find North Carolina scholarships. These scholarships can be given by third-party organizations, including nonprofits and corporations or by the school directly. The North Carolina Community Foundation is a great repository of scholarships for local students.

North Carolina scholarships can include both general awards for any students or specialized awards with specific requirements. For example, the Grayce Wills MacDonald and Ivan A. MacDonald Endowment is only available to students who are from Cherokee, Graham, Clay, Swain, Macon, Jackson, Haywood, Madison, Buncombe or Henderson County. Also, students must be studying nutrition and have an interest in vegetarianism to be eligible.

The state of North Carolina also offers grants and scholarships to local students. You can find North Carolina scholarships through the college you attend, especially if it's local. When you're applying to a school, visit their financial aid department’s website to see if they have a list of scholarship opportunities.

Some schools will automatically include students in the running for certain scholarships. However, many will also require an additional application. If you're not sure what you need to apply for a scholarship, contact the financial aid department directly.

Make sure to do this as soon as possible because most schools have limited scholarship funds. In fact, some scholarships may have earlier deadlines than the general application deadline.

How to apply for North Carolina scholarships

One of the first things you should do is complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is the form you need to fill out to qualify for federal student loans and grants. However, many students don't know that a lot of scholarship applications will also want to look at your FAFSA. For example, the UNC Need-Based Grant lists the FAFSA as one of its requirements.

To qualify for North Carolina grants, you should also submit the FAFSA by the North Carolina deadline. For the current school year, the deadline is June 1st for students applying to a UNC school and August 15th for community college students.

While some North Carolina scholarships are only given to students who are already residents, others are available even if you're just attending school in the state.

Other North Carolina scholarships require that students must already be North Carolina residents and attend school in the Tar Heel State. Make sure you understand what the residency requirements are, especially if you're not from North Carolina.

Being a North Carolina resident can mean different things depending on the scholarship application. For example, some may require that both of your parents are also North Carolina residents, whereas others will only consider your own residency status.

North Carolina Scholarship FAQs

Are there North Carolina scholarships for certain minority groups?

If you belong to a minority group, you may be eligible for specific minority scholarships for North Carolina students. These scholarships can help bridge the gap between your college costs and your financial ability.

For example, the HBCU Week X Capital One Scholarship is available to students who are attending a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). While this scholarship is not exclusively for those attending college in North Carolina, there are currently 11 HBCUs in North Carolina.

Eligible students will receive a $20,000 scholarship that is not eligible for renewal. Students must have a 2.5 GPA or higher and complete 20 hours of community service each semester.

If you are part of a minority group, look for scholarships from organizations that are based in North Carolina.

Do you have to attend school in North Carolina to win a North Carolina scholarship?

North Carolina scholarships can vary on whether you have to actually attend school in state to be eligible. While some scholarships let students attend school in any state, others have dual residency requirements.

For example, the North Carolina Scholarship for Children of Wartime Veterans requires that students be from North Carolina and attend school in North Carolina. You must also have a parent who is a veteran to qualify.

Students and their veteran parent must also meet one of the following to qualify:

Do you have to be from North Carolina to win a North Carolina scholarship?

Many North Carolina scholarships only provide awards to students who actually live in the state. However, It's still possible to find a scholarship even if you're not from North Carolina.

For example, the B.N. Duke Scholars Program is available to students who are from either North or South Carolina. The scholarship to Duke University pays for four years of tuition, room and board, textbooks and more.

What are the best North Carolina scholarships?

There are some generous scholarships for North Carolina students. If you’re attending a school that is part of the University of North Carolina system, then you may be eligible for a UNC Need-Based Grant.

This grant is worth up to $4,200 and is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students who apply for admission at one of the 16 eligible schools will be automatically considered for the award.

Are North Carolina scholarships only available for students attending public universities?

While some North Carolina scholarships are only available if you're attending a public institution, others don't have the same requirements. They may be open to students who attend any kind of school, as long as it's accredited.

For example, the North Carolina Need Based Scholarship is given to a student attending a private college in North Carolina. Just like the name suggests, there is a financial need component for this award. This award is very similar to the UNC Need-Based Grant.

Are there scholarships for students from specific North Carolina counties or cities?

Many scholarships that are state-based are open to any student who lives in that state. However, some scholarships may only be open to students from certain counties in that state.

For example, the Aubrey Lee Brooks Scholarship is given to a student planning to attend North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill or the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

Students must also be from one of the following counties: Alamance, Bertie, Caswell, Durham, Forsyth, Granville, Guilford, Orange, Person, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Swain or Warren.

Are North Carolina scholarships available for community college students?

While community college is less expensive than a traditional four-year school, it can still have significant costs for students. And community college students, especially those who want to transfer to a bachelor's program, should consider applying for scholarships.

Fortunately, there are plenty of awards for community college or two-year students.

For example, the North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship is given to community college students who are attending a UNC school or a North Carolina Community College school. You will need to complete the FAFSA to qualify, but you do not have to be eligible for the Pell Grant to receive this scholarship. Students must take at least six credit hours every semester and be North Carolina residents.

Are North Carolina scholarships available for graduate or professional students?

Graduate school is usually more expensive than undergraduate education. Including tuition and room and board, the average cost is $38,200 per year. And since many students enter graduate school already in debt, it's even more crucial for them to find scholarships that they are eligible for.

Fortunately, there are plenty of award opportunities for graduate or professional school students. These scholarships can reduce the cost of graduate school so students can take out fewer student loans. Some awards may be available for both undergraduate and graduate students, while others are only designed for graduate students.

For example, the D. Staton and Maude B. Inscoe Scholarship, sponsored by the North Carolina Bar Association, is given to a law school student who has demonstrated financial need. Only one student will be eligible from each North Carolina law school.

If you're planning to enroll or are already enrolled in graduate school, your school's financial aid office should have information on how to apply for institutional grants and scholarships.

Are there specific North Carolina scholarships for certain majors or degrees?

There are several scholarships that are available specifically to students who have declared a certain major or are interested in a specific career.

For example, the Goodnight Scholarships from North Carolina State University are available to students who are interested in STEM. Students will receive $23,000 annually for up to four years. To qualify, students must have a family household Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $120,000 or less.

Students with DACA or refugee status are eligible to apply. These scholarships can be given to students who are either incoming freshmen or who are transfer students. The scholarship committee is looking for students who have some demonstrated financial need.

Can DACA students qualify for scholarships?

To qualify for most types of financial aid, including scholarships, you need to be a US citizen or a permanent resident. If you have DACA status, your financial aid options may be more limited. If you do have a Social Security Number, you can still complete the FAFSA.

There are also several scholarships geared toward those with DACA status. For example, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund is given to either an undergraduate or graduate student who graduated high school in North Carolina, and is open to students with DACA status. This scholarship can be used to attend school outside of North Carolina.

Can I get a North Carolina scholarship if I’m an international student?

Historically, North Carolina scholarships are only available for students who are from the US. However, If you're an international student, you may still qualify for a North Carolina scholarship.

For example, the Goodnight Scholarships program at North Carolina State University is available to international students who have graduated from a North Carolina high school or community college.

Many schools have special departments for international students that you can reach out to with financial aid questions.