7 College Grants in North Carolina
Paying for college is a source of worry for many parents and students. As if applying to college wasn’t stressful enough, now you have to figure out how you are going to afford it. One great way to do that is with North Carolina college grants!
Grants are a great way to pay for college because it’s money you don’t have to pay back. And there are more grants out there than the Federal Pell Grants (although those are important too.) Below are multiple grants to keep in mind, but the best news is that the best way to be considered for all grants is to complete the FAFSA!
Federal Pell Grants
Before we get into the grants specifically available in North Carolina, it’s important we get the big one out of the way first. The Federal Pell Grant is one of the most well-known grants, and you might have heard of it before.
Pell Grants are typically only available to undergraduate students with financial need. As of the 2020–21 school year, the maximum award you can receive through a Pell Grant is $6,345. The amount of aid you’re eligible to receive will depend on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as well as the cost of attendance at your school, whether or not you’re a full-time student, and if you’re attending for the full year.
One of the best things about the Pell Grant is how easy it is to apply. All you need to do is fill out the FAFSA!
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is another federal grant to help students with the greatest financial need. Unlike the Pell Grant, the FSEOG is handled by your school’s financial aid office, not the government.
It’s also important to note that the FSEOG is not offered by all schools. Ask the financial aid office at your college or university to make sure it’s available.
Depending on your level of need, you could potentially get anywhere between $100 and $4,000 a year through the SEOG. Similar to the Pell Grant, your school will decide if you’re eligible for the FSEOG based on your FAFSA, so make sure you fill it out each year!
The University of North Carolina Need-Based Grant
Now, we are getting to the North Carolina college grants. We’ll start with the University of North Carolina Need Based Grant. This grant is offered to eligible students attending one of the 16 campuses in the UNC System.
To qualify, you need to be enrolled in at least six credit hours in a UNC system institution. The amount you’re eligible to receive will depend on your financial need. How does your school determine your need? You guessed it: the FAFSA! You must list at least one UNC system school when you complete the FAFSA to be considered.
After you’ve submitted the FAFSA, you will be automatically considered for the grant. It’s important to note that there are limited funds available for this North Carolina college grant. Submit the FAFSA as soon as possible to make sure there are funds left for you.
North Carolina Need Based Scholarship
It may say “scholarship” in the name, but make no mistake that the North Carolina Need Based Scholarship is actually a grant. This grant is relatively new and was created in 2011. It is designed to help North Carolina students going to independent or private colleges in the state.
If you plan on going to a private college and want to qualify for this grant, you’ll need to be both a North Carolina resident and attend a private college or university in North Carolina. You also must be enrolled in at least nine credit hours as an undergraduate.
In addition to the qualifications above, you’ll have to meet the same requirements for the Federal Pell Grant and demonstrate financial need based on your EFC. You may be noticing a trend here, but you also apply for the North Carolina Need Based Scholarship when you file the FAFSA. Like the University of North Carolina Need Based Grant, there are limited funds available, so file early!
North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship
Have you ever wondered where the money from the North Carolina Education Lottery goes? The North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship (ELS) is part of it. This need-based grant is available to North Carolina residents enrolled in at least six credit hours at a North Carolina Community College or UNC constituent institution.
Much like other grants, ELS eligibility is based on the same info used to qualify for the Federal Pell Grant. The difference is that, even if you don’t qualify for a Pell Grant, you may still qualify for the ELS. You’ll apply for the ELS with the FAFSA, just like many of these other grants. The amount you receive is determined based on your need.
NC Community College Grant
Grants are not limited to traditional four-year universities. There are also North Carolina college grants to help pay for community college. Community college attendance is soaring, and this grant is a great way for you to afford community college. In addition to the Education Lottery Scholarship, the North Carolina Community College Grant (NCCCG) is specifically to help North Carolina students afford the cost of school at one of the state’s 58 community colleges.
To qualify, you’re going to have to be a North Carolina resident and enroll in at least six credit hours at an eligible community college. You will also need to make sure you meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements of your school.
Eligibility for the NCCCG is actually the same as the Federal Pell Grant with one major difference: students who aren’t eligible for the Pell Grant might still qualify for this grant. It all comes down to your EFC. Also, like the Pell Grant, you apply for the NCCG when you submit the FAFSA, and you’ll be automatically considered once you file.
Grants From Your College or University
In addition to the grants listed here, it’s important to remember that many colleges and universities have their own grants. Examples of these North Carolina college grants, sometimes called “Institutional Aid,” are those available at UNC-Chapel Hill and the grants available from North Carolina State University.
While these are just two examples, you should speak with the financial aid office at your school to see what grants are available and how you can apply.
NC Assist Can Bridge the Gap When Grants Aren’t Enough
Hopefully, this has helped shed some light on both North Carolina college grants and federal grants. If you remember one thing, it should be how important it is to file the FAFSA! The FAFSA automatically puts you into consideration for these grants and other financial aid. Fill out the FAFSA each year and try to fill it out as early as possible.
Even with a North Carolina college grant, you may still need help covering the cost of attendance at your college or university. Student Assist Loans from NC Assist are here to help you cover the difference between your financial aid and the cost of attendance. Find out more about how you can take advantage of low fixed interest rates to cover the cost of school.