Scholarship Information

[Financial Aid Search]
[Need-based Programs]
[Merit-based Programs]
[Other Programs]

Golden LEAF Scholarship Program

The Golden LEAF Scholarship Program is designed to assist current high school seniors and North Carolina community college transfer students. Recipients must be from certain rural counties, demonstrate both financial need and merit, and plan to attend participating North Carolina colleges and universities. The scholarship is funded by the Golden LEAF Foundation through a grant to the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority. The number of years of scholarship support depends on the degree sought and the number of credits transferred.


To be considered for this award, a student must:

  • Be a North Carolina resident for tuition purposes.
  • Be a high school senior enrolling full-time as a first-year student or a currently enrolled community college transfer student enrolling full-time at any participating North Carolina college or university in the upcoming fall.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and demonstrate financial need* as determined by the application process;
  • Have a GPA of no less than 3.0; and
  • Be a resident of a rural county that is economically distressed and/or tobacco dependent. Click here to view the eligible counties.

Please Note:

Students who have earned four-year (bachelor) degrees are not eligible for consideration.

Approximately 215 scholarships will be awarded.

*Students with EFCs up to 10,000, as determined by the FAFSA, are eligible for scholarship consideration.

The scholarship provides $3,000 a year for up to 4 years to high school seniors and $3,000 a year for up to 3 years to community college transfer students.

Application Procedure
The application will be available the first Monday in December. Click here to submit your application. The deadline for applying is March 1st.

Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program

Students awarded Golden LEAF Scholarships are also eligible to participate in the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program (subject to the availability of funding). The program is only available to Golden LEAF Scholarship recipients. It provides Golden LEAF Scholars with leadership training at the Center for Creative Leadership, one of the nation's leading leadership development organizations. Participating students also have the opportunity for paid internship opportunities in rural NC communities. Students who participate in all four years of the program (freshman-senior) can earn up to $8,830 in stipends. The Center for Creative Leadership developed and manages the leadership program. For more information about the leadership program, visit

Other Information
Terms of the Golden LEAF Scholars Program
List of Participating Campuses
Qualifying Counties

Related Links
Complete the Required Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after October 1st.

Our downloadable forms require Adobe Acrobat Reader. It's free and easy! Click the graphic above to download the reader from Adobe Acrobat's website.