Financial Aid and Student Loans in North Carolina

The average cost of attendance for a 4 year undergraduate in the state of North Carolina is $30,957, and 58% of students graduate with student debt. There are many funding aid options for students in North Carolina. You’ll find 113 colleges and universities in the state, some of these among the most prestigious colleges nationwide.

At Funding U, we’ve created a checklist that we believe helps students wrap their arms around funding their education, and step 1 in that checklist is to search for scholarships and loans. If you start researching your funding aid options well ahead of time, you’ll have a better chance of securing federal aid and gathering less debt.

First, you’ll need to complete a Free Application for Student Federal Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA opens the door to an array of federal aid options, too.

What scholarship programs does North Carolina have?

It’s a sound practice to develop a habit of regularly applying for scholarships, even after you’ve begun your studies. The College Foundation of North Carolina has a scholarship search tool on their website, and it’s a great resource for native North Carolinians. Additionally, there are national aggregators like,, and to help you cast a wide net. 

Here are a few examples of scholarships in North Carolina

Michael A. DeMayo 2020 Scholarship Program

The firm will be awarding a total of $37,500 in college scholarships to 15 high school seniors who reside and attend schools in counties served by the firm, including: Mecklenburg, Gaston, Catawba, Union (NC), Cabarrus, Cleveland, Lincoln, Rowan, Caldwell, Stanly, Iredell, Alexander, Burke, Robeson, Scotland, Richmond, Anson, Cumberland, York, Lancaster, Chester, Union (SC), Cherokee, Chesterfield, Marlboro and Dillon.

Each award is for $2,500 and the deadline for submission is Monday, March 16th, 2020. 

Spirit Square Center for Arts and Education Scholarship

College juniors and seniors majoring in Art subjects can apply for varying award amounts. Each award is determined on a case by case basis. The amount awarded depends on the funds available in the scholarship fund.

The aim is to help as many students as possible. The scholarship is not needs-based but awarded on merit.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Show that you have considerable career potential in the arts
  • Demonstrate that you have a strong sense of community-mindedness. It’s time to get involved in volunteer work on a regular basis
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0

Apply before the 1 March deadline for a chance to win one of 400 awards.

North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship

The grant is for students in financial need who are enrolled in degree, diploma, or certificate courses. The amount of the scholarship is determined on a need basis. You’ll have to complete your FAFSA application. From there, you’ll see how much you should qualify for.

To be eligible, you must:

  • A resident of North Carolina and study there
  • Be enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours every semester – part-time students are therefore eligible
  • Demonstrate academic excellence and maintain good academic performance
  • Be admitted, enrolled and classified as an undergraduate student in matriculated status in a degree, certificate or diploma program at an eligible North Carolina institution (UNC campuses and NC Community College campuses)

North Carolina Needs Based Scholarship

Open to North Carolina residents, this scholarship is needs-based. Your eligibility is automatically checked against your FAFSA application, and your report will notify you if you can apply.

Aside from that, to be eligible, you must:

  • Be a resident of North Carolina and study there as well
  • Be an undergraduate and study at least nine credit hours a semester at a prequalified school
  • Demonstrate that you have a definite financial need in relation to the Expected Family Contribution. This is where the FAFSA application comes into play
  • Meet the requirements for the Pell Grant aside from the restrictions related to the EFC range. (You’ll find out whether you qualify or not from your FAFSA application

What grant programs does North Carolina have?

Grant programs are predominantly aimed at those who can demonstrate financial hardship. There are many other programs with a different focus, such as ethnic background, religious belief, or study subject.

The University of North Carolina Need Based Grant

These needs based grants are available for eligible students attending one of the 16 campuses of the University of North Carolina. Eligibility is based on a calculation of need, using income data from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

What student loan options are available in North Carolina?

When you’ve exhausted every scholarship or grant option, you might still need to borrow to meet the shortfall. Unlike most states, North Carolina does have its own loan program.

The NC Student Assist Loan and NC Parent Assist Loan. 

The NC Student Assist Loan is an education loan that helps bridge the gap between the cost of attendance and other financial aid. The loan is available to students who are North Carolina residents and students who reside outside of North Carolina but are attending an eligible non-profit Title IV institution in North Carolina.

Federal student loans

Prospective North Carolina students can receive federal financial aid assistance by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA). 

Private co-signed student loans

There are many private student loan opportunities for those who need additional assistance on top of federal student loans. Many banks, credit unions, and dedicated lending companies offer private student loans, but almost all require a co-signer.

No co-signer student loans in North Carolina

Funding U began because we identified thousands of students who were unable to qualify for a private student loan because they didn’t have an eligible co-signer. While we’re no longer the only provider of such loans, we offer no co-signer student loans to career-focused students currently enrolled full time in college. The requirements for receiving a loan are dependent upon the GPA of the student and the graduation rate of the institution they attend. To learn more about our no co-signer student loans click here.

What Schools Does Funding U Lend To In North Carolina?

Generally speaking, Funding U’s no co-signer loans are offered to students at eligible four-year, non-profit, undergraduate degree-granting universities (which means we do not lend to for-profit schools, 2-year schools, graduate schools, or trade schools). Our eligibility requirements are based on models that aim to predict how likely a student is to graduate, and because of that, we have minimum GPA requirements that students must meet and minimum 6-year graduation rates that schools must reach in order to be eligible. To find out more about how we determine our eligibility, click here.

Below is a table listing all of the schools in North Carolina that Funding U is currently lending to, with additional details on which grades we are currently lending to, based on the school’s 6-year graduation rate. 

School NameFreshman
6 yr
Grad Rate
Apex School of TheologyYesYesYesYes9987
Appalachian State UniversityNoYesYesYes7289
Barton CollegeNoNoYesYes5263
Belmont Abbey CollegeNoNoNoNo4464
Bennett CollegeNoNoNoNo3244
Brevard CollegeNoNoNoNo3353
Campbell UniversityNoNoYesYes5372
Carolina Christian CollegeNoYesYesYes1000
Catawba CollegeNoNoNoNo4672
Charlotte Christian College and Theological SeminaryNoNoNoNo3867
Chowan UniversityNoNoNoNo2946
Davidson CollegeYesYesYesYes9095
Duke UniversityYesYesYesYes9697
East Carolina UniversityNoNoYesYes6583
Elizabeth City State UniversityNoNoNoNo4274
Elon UniversityNoYesYesYes8389
Fayetteville State UniversityNoNoNoNo3578
Gardner-Webb UniversityNoNoYesYes5371
Greensboro CollegeNoNoNoNo4040
Guilford CollegeNoNoYesYes5966
High Point UniversityNoNoYesYes6579
John Wesley UniversityNoNoNoNo1367
Johnson C Smith UniversityNoNoNoNo3669
Lees-McRae CollegeNoNoNoNo3764
Lenoir-Rhyne UniversityNoNoYesYes5073
Livingstone CollegeNoNoNoNo2442
Mars Hill UniversityNoNoNoNo3959
Meredith CollegeNoNoYesYes6180
Methodist UniversityNoNoNoNo3657
Mid-Atlantic Christian UniversityNoNoNoNo2863
Montreat CollegeNoNoNoNo4362
North Carolina A & T State UniversityNoNoYesYes5379
North Carolina Central UniversityNoNoNoNo4677
North Carolina State University at RaleighNoYesYesYes8194
North Carolina Wesleyan CollegeNoNoNoNo2961
Pfeiffer UniversityNoNoNoNo4361
Piedmont International UniversityNoNoNoNo3661
Queens University of CharlotteNoNoYesYes5378
Saint Augustine's UniversityNoNoNoNo3144
Salem CollegeNoNoYesYes6075
Shaw UniversityNoNoNoNo1543
Southeastern Baptist Theological SeminaryNoNoYesYes5081
St. Andrews UniversityNoNoNoNo3242
University of Mount OliveNoNoNoNo4768
University of North Carolina at AshevilleNoNoYesYes6375
University of North Carolina at Chapel HillNoYesYesYes8996
University of North Carolina at CharlotteNoNoYesYes5983
University of North Carolina at GreensboroNoNoYesYes5378
University of North Carolina at PembrokeNoNoNoNo4169
University of North Carolina School of the ArtsNoYesYesYes7391
University of North Carolina WilmingtonNoYesYesYes7387
Wake Forest UniversityNoYesYesYes8994
Warren Wilson CollegeNoNoYesYes5262
Western Carolina UniversityNoNoYesYes6279
William Peace UniversityNoNoNoNo3761
Wingate UniversityNoNoYesYes5173
Winston-Salem State UniversityNoNoNoNo4876
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