Golden LEAF 4-Year Scholarship Program




Approximately 215


1st Monday in January


March 1


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.


  • Be a North Carolina resident for tuition purposes.
    • Applicants must complete residency determination at the North Carolina Residency Determination Service Website.
  • Be a graduating NC HS senior or current NC community college transfer student planning to enroll for the first time as a full-time degree-seeking student at an eligible NC college or university.
  • Have a minimum CGPA of 3.0.
  • Be a resident of an eligible rural county as identified by the Golden LEAF Foundation. 
  • Demonstrate financial need as determined by the application process; have Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that does not exceed the maximum permitted by the Program.

Application Requirements

  • Complete and submit a full electronic Golden LEAF 4-Year Scholarship application
  • Submit an electronic copy of academic transcript that has final grades for most recent Fall semester
  • Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the appropriate school year

Other Information

The scholarship provides $3,000 a year for up to four years to high school seniors and $3,000 a year for up to three years to community college transfer students.  Students who have previously attended a four-year college/university outside of dual enrollment (high school and college at the same time) are not eligible for consideration.

For renewal consideration, a Renewal Profile and FAFSA must be submitted each year.  In addition, the recipient must have continued financial need, remain enrolled full-time at an eligible institution, and maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. 

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