Forgivable Education Loans for Service


up to $7,000 for Certificate, Associate & Bachelor's
up to $14,000 for Master's & Doctoral Degrees




Application will open the 1st Monday in January


March 1


  • Be a legal North Carolina resident and NC resident for tuition purposes
    • Applicants may complete residency determination at the North Carolina Residency Determination Service Website.
  • At the time of application, present a cumulative minimum grade point average (GPA) of:
    • 3.00 for graduating high school students (weighted GPA)
    • 2.80 for undergraduate students pursuing an associate or bachelor's degree
  • Register with the Selective Service System, if required
  • Recipients must not be in default, or does not owe a refund, under any federal or State loan or grant program
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress according to the enrolling policy of the institution
  • Be willing to work in NC in a designated critical employment shortage profession
  • Must plan to enroll in at least six credit hours in a FELS Approved Program at a FELS Eligible Institution


Established by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2011, the Forgivable Education Loans for Service provides financial assistance to qualified students enrolled in an approved education program and committed to working in critical employment shortage professions in North Carolina. The North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority provides administration for the program. For the 2021-2022 academic year the approved degree programs and approved institutions can be found via the Scholarship Resource Section. 

Application Requirements

Complete a FELS Application

  • Application opens the 1st Monday of January. Applications will be entered into a lottery for award consideration.
  • If you are seeking your associate's or bachelor’s degree, provide a copy of your transcript with your application.

Other Information

FELS loan recipients must sign a promissory note that will require them to seek loan forgiveness through employment in an approved position or repay the loan in cash. Loan forgiveness is described in the FELS Rules. Generally, a loan for one academic year will be forgiven for one year of full-time employment. Loans will accrue interest at the rate of 7% per year from the date of the loan disbursement. Recipients cannot receive FELS funding concurrently with other state-funded loans.

For bachelor's degree programs, priority is given to juniors and seniors who have been accepted into the program (or who will be accepted by the start of the fall semester).

Note: FELS recipients must be enrolled for at least six credit hours each semester to qualify for funding for undergraduate or graduate programs. The award amount will be pro-rated based on the chart below.

Certificate, Associate, and Bachelor's Degree Programs
Credits Certificate and/or Associate Degree Bachelor's Degree:
Freshmen and Sophomores
Bachelor's Degree:
Juniors and Seniors
12+ $3,000
6-11 $1,500
Max Total Loan Limits $6,000 $20,000


Master's and Doctoral Degree Programs
Credits Master's Degree Doctoral Degree
9+ $10,000
6-8 $5,000
Max Total Loan Limits $20,000 $56,000