Golden LEAF 2-Year Scholarship Program


up to $2,250 per school year

up to $1,000 occupational education students






  • Be enrolled in a North Carolina community college
  • Be a permanent resident of a qualifying rural county that is economically distressed and/or tobacco-dependent.
  • Demonstrate financial need
    • Curriculum students will be selected based on their financial need as reported in their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Degree-seeking students must be enrolled as a full-time student in order to receive the maximum scholarship award. Grants for less than full-time will be prorated based on hours of enrollment.
    • Occupational Education students must demonstrate financial need under the federal TRIO formula and be enrolled in a credentialing program of at least 96 hours.


The Golden LEAF Scholars Program - Two-Year Colleges is funded through a grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation, a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to help transform North Carolina's economy. The program provides funds up to $2,250 per school year for curriculum students and up to $1,000 for occupational education students. Participating colleges may vary; therefore, students are encouraged to check with the financial aid office at their college to see if the college is taking part in the program.

Application Requirements

  • Complete a Golden LEAF 2-Year Scholarship Application
  • File the completed application with the college financial aid office (Applications should NOT be sent to the North Carolina Community College System Office) 

Other Information

Selection factors include:

  • The effect of the declining economy on his or her family.
    • Owned or employed in farming/agriculture business
    • Owned or employed in traditional industries (such as textile or furniture manufacturing)
    • Household member lost their job or gone from full-time to part-time employment
  • Academic performance
  • Campus activities and community service

Student applicants bear the responsibility for completing the Golden LEAF Scholars application prior to each deadline as designated by the college financial aid office. Deadlines are determined by each participating community college. Please contact the financial aid office for details.

Scholarship funds may be used for tuition, fees, books, supplies; and with special provisions, childcare and transportation expenses.

Awards can be applied toward tuition, fees, books, supplies at the community college where enrolled, transportation, childcare expenses related to attending classes, and credential testing upon course completion.