Financial Aid and Scholarships for College

       Financial Aid and Scholarships - An Overview
Financial Aid and scholarships come from three sources:
1) The College or University the Student Will Attend: Students should contact the admissions office and the financial aid office at the schools to which they apply in order to see what scholarships they might be eligible for, making sure to find out about deadlines (usually in October or November) they need to meet in applying. 

2) Federal Aid or State Aid:

Each student and their parent(s) need to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
at the beginning of their last year as a high school student (as soon as possible after October 1) to be considered for many types of financial aid and scholarships (federal and state). The Federal Student Aid website has resources and information for parents and students on types of federal student aid, both loans and grants. There are also resources to help students plan and apply for college.  

- Here is a great tutorial that takes students and parents through the steps to fill out the FAFSA: 

-  FAFSA Day - Last Saturday in October: Get assistance filling out the FAFSA at a number of locations around the community. You can find out where and register at

3. Other Scholarships: Students should use the NC and National scholarship searches (see below for suggestions), and keep checking back to this page for updates on any specific scholarships that your school counselor finds out about.  (Examples: Buncombe County Schools Foundation Scholarships or Community Foundation of Western North Carolina Scholarships...see below "Specific Scholarships to Apply for Now" and information on accessing resources to search for scholarships.) 

4. Naviance: Students can also use the 'Scholarship Match' feature in Naviance. There are also local and national scholarship lists in Naviance.

       Helpful Planning for College Websites:

Sallie Mae's Planning and Paying for College website: to help students and families plan and figure out how to pay for college. It is full of resources including information on grants, scholarships, college savings plans and more.  

College Covered: website with info on all steps of the application process. Students can sign up for weekly emails with college-planning tips.

Here are some tips for avoiding scholarship scams as you search for scholarships.

       North Carolina Scholarship Searches 
Many applications are due in October or November for students starting the following fall. Get started on these early! Another great way to search is by using this search engine:  You can choose merit-based or need-based to pull up a list of scholarships for each. Be sure to read the eligibility requirements to see if you would be a good fit.

CFNC Financial Literacy Scholarship: Two $500 scholarships are given to North Carolina students. You must login to and complete the Financial Literacy Course. See for more information.

Forgivable Education Loans for Service (FELS):  If students commit to working in an area of "critical need" in the teaching, nursing, medical, or allied health fields they can get loans that can be forgiven after a certain amount of time. Visit for more information on this program and how to apply.

DEADLINE is the last week of March. Applications open in late January.  The BCSF awards a number of scholarships to Buncombe County Early College students. There are a number of scholarships specifically for only BCEC or BCS students. You can access the application by clicking here and get more information on the BCSF website.  If you'd like a hard copy, see your school counselor. 

 CFWNC Scholarships...LOCAL...APPLY FOR THESE!! Due starting in January Community Foundation of Western North Carolina offers a number of scholarships for student in the WNC region. 5th years are highly encouraged to review this list and apply for those scholarships that they are eligible for.  Examples of scholarships you might consider: the WNC Regional ScholarshipsCannady Scholarships, the Harry W. Clarke Award, the Irving Jacob Award,  the Harry R. Morrill Scholarship, and many more.  There are also scholarships for students interested in specific career fields (eg, Healthcare), whose parents work at specific places such as the Biltmore, and whose parents are veterans of the Vietnam war. See your school counselor if you have questions.

SECU People Helping People Scholarship: $5000 Scholarship!! Every public high school system in North Carolina will choose a certain number of recipients for this scholarship. Recipients are chosen by a scholarship committee base on the following: leadership, excellence of character, integrity, and community involvement. The award is for $1250 per semester for up to 4 years of undergraduate study at one of the 17 public North Carolina colleges and universities. 

SEANC (State Employees Association of North Carolina) Scholarship: For students who are members of or whose parents are members of the State Employees
Association. There are merit- and need-based scholarships available. Go to for more information. (Or visit to join SEANC.)

Community Foundation of Henderson County: There are three scholarships listed here that are also available to Buncombe County High School students: the Greek Heritage (if you have financial need); Escott (pursuing a career in math or business administration); and McMillan scholarships (interested in Christian Education or related studies).  NEW DEADLINE: March. 

A variety of scholarships for Buncombe County Seniors. Check to see if you are eligible for any and talk to your school counselor for more information. 

       National Scholarship Searches
College Board - National search, merit-based and need-based scholarships. Search by personal characteristics, academic information, and/or involvement in different groups and activities.
Scholarship Experts - search for scholarships, and also find info on loans, colleges, and general information about getting money for college. 
Fast Web - You have to create a profile, but there are many scholarships that you can search and browse here also (for example, search for scholarships for Russian students or scholarships for students who are interested in majoring in Political Science). is one of the oldest and most trusted resources to guide students on how to finance and succeed in college. For easier navigation of the site, the materials are divided into four major categories that most students experience when getting into college: exploring your optionsthe admission processfinding financial aid & succeeding in college.

       Specific Scholarships for Students to Consider
                  (Please check frequently for new items posted here)

St. Luke's Episcopal Church Scholarship for Buncombe County students who need help paying for college. The application includes information about your grades, test scores, activities, financial situation, and an essay. The application details and packet can be found on their website ( Due in May. 

Students who serve as a Caregiver for a family member:  Offered by, deadline in December. See details and application info here:

The African American Network - Carolinas Scholarship: (for minority students) If you plan to pursue Engineering, Science, Business Administration, Accounting or Finance at a 4 year college, you should apply for this scholarship. Deadline in March each year. More details and application are here: (search for this scholarship and others, too!!)

Females passionate about a healthy lifestyle:
$1000 scholarship given 4 times a year, essay contest, all GPA's and majors considered. Find out more and apply here:

Redfin Essay Contest/Scholarship:
Check out this page for more info and to submit your essay:

Carolina Pest Management Scholarship: Merit-based Scholarship for any student attending a college or university in North or South Carolina. Carolina Pest Management will also donate $1000 to a non-profit organization of the recipient's choice. All info can be found at Deadline is at the end of February.

WCU and PPG's Engineering Technology/Applied Systems Technology Scholarship: This is a merit-based scholarship worth $2000 is for students interested in getting a bachelors from Western Carolina in Applied Systems Technology, with priority given to women interested in the field. See your school counselor for more information and an application. Due at the beginning of March. 

Mission Health, Kesha Young Health Careers Scholarship: For minorities interested in a career in the healthcare field. Must have 3.0 GPA and be committed to working at Mission in the future.  See your school counselor for application. 

The Black Orthodontics Scholarship: For any student interested in the medical field. (This is not a minority scholarship...the orthodontist's name is Dr. Black.) Let your school counselor know if you are interested by April of your graduating year.
The Horatio Alger National Career and Technical Scholarship Program: Interested in going to a community college for one of the tech programs? Check out this scholarship for up to $2500. Priority is given to those with financial need.
Triangle Community Foundation Scholarships: Many of these are for students in the Raleigh-Durham area, but not all of them, such as the North Carolina Jaycees Outstanding Teenager Scholarship. There are also scholarships listed specifically for Latino, African American, and American Indian students. Deadlines vary throughout the year from January until June. 
Prudential Spirit of Community Award: For any student who has participated in community service apply by early November at
Winners of this award are eligible to win a $1000 award. See your school counselor for more info.
Interested in Being a Teacher?

North Carolina Alpha Delta Kappa Scholarships: 
Available to all students planning on attending a 2-year or 4-year college or university. Based on minimum SAT score of 1650 (three areas) or ACT composite score of 20, extra-curricular activities, and service.  Award of $2000. See your school counselor for more information and to apply. 

NC Teaching Fellows: For students interested in pursuing a career in teaching and attending one of the NC universities designated for the program.
  • High school applicants or applicants with fewer than 24 hours of college credit must have a minimum unweighted high school GPA of 3.0 and must submit an SAT and/or ACT score.
  • Applicants with more than 24 hours of college credit must have a minimum of a 2.7 cumulative GPA.
  • Be willing to teach in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics) or special education licensure area in a North Carolina public school, traditional or charter.
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarships: For students who "work hard and have financial need." See this website for more info:

Interested in Business? Check out this list of scholarships for students pursuing a bachelors degree in business. 
Interested in Business, Management, or Logistics? Check out this $1000 scholarship from North American Van Lines. You need to fill out the short application, write and attach an essay, and attach your transcript.
A-B Tech Scholarships: If you plan to return to A-B Tech to continue your education after you graduate from Early College, apply for scholarships here: .  (Also, don't forget to fill out the FAFSA if you are returning to A-B Tech to receive federal aid.) 
Interested in UNCG? Check this scholarship out for low income students! The program also provides valuable extra support during your time at UNCG. The sooner you apply the better; get your application in before they give out all of the money!

Chapel Hill Creative Writing Scholarship: See your school counselor if you are planning to apply to Chapel Hill and would like to submit an application/entry for the UNC Thomas Wolfe Scholarship
Students interested in the Healthcare Field:  Good Neighbor Pharmacy of NC is rewarding a number of scholarships to students interested in Healthcare. Click here for more info, or come to see your school counselor.
NC AWWA-WEA Safe Water Scholarships: There are a variety of scholarships available to students interested in water quality, engineering, environmental business, and other concentrations. See this list for specifics on each scholarship. Click here for the application. DEADLINE: March. (additional form: advisor form)
Interested in Computer Science or Atmospheric Science? Check out the UNCA scholarship available at UNCA scholarships

Interested in Environmental Science?:   Check out this merit-based scholarship fund for individuals seeking education in environmental studies. The $1,000 scholarship is awarded based on academics and a passion for environmental studies.
Phi Theta Kappa Scholarships: For members of Phi Theta Kappa planning on going to a four year college. There are scholarships from Coke, Geico, and many other organizations and you can apply to them all with just one application. Go to for more information and to apply.
Gertrude McDaris and Sidney H. Ruskin Scholarship: For students in Western North Carolina of Cherokee descent or who had ancestors living in the original 13 colonies. GPA 2.5 minimum. Must be of Baptist, Methodist, or Presbyterian Faith. Go to for info on this scholarship as well as others. DEADLINE is in FEBRUARY.
Montreat College WNC Scholarship: Students must have a 3.0 and visit and apply to Montreat College by the January deadline. For more information see your school counselor or contact Montreat at 800-622-6968 or [email protected]
 Minority Students: See below for specific sites that are very helpful, and also don't forget to use the links above to search for even more. 

Latino Students:

Check out this College Guide for Undocumented Students!

The following guide focuses on making college a reality for undocumented students by detailing scholarship opportunities, advocacy groups, and enrollment tips. 
Expert Advice and Resources for Undocumented College Students

Scholarship Info:
Triangle Community Foundation  scholarships sponsored by Triangle Community Foundation.  
See this document for some resources for scholarships available for Latino Students! Click here to view or download 

MALDEF Scholarship Resources, includes a comprehensive list of resources and scholarships for Latino students, both documented and undocumented.
MALDEF Resource Guide

North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals awards annual scholarships worth between $500 and $2,500. Recipients of a NC Hispanic College Fund scholarship must enroll in a degree program at a community college or a 2 or 4 year college/university and be committed to public service and community development. Deadline is in January. Application is here:
Hispanic Scholarship Fund: Application opens in January and is due in April for the following August (5th years should fill it out at the beginning of the spring semester). 
La Unidad Latina: Resources and information on Scholarships available for Hispanic students.
Golden Doors Scholars: Specifically for undocumented students 
 African American Students: 

The African American Network - Carolinas Scholarship: 
(for minority students, but you don't have to be African American)  If you plan to pursue Engineering, Science, Business Administration, Accounting or Finance at a 4 year college, you should apply for this scholarship. Deadline in March each year. More details and application are here: 
African American Scholarships: Available to students planning to attend colleges and universities across the United States -  Scholarships List from 

Going Merry: Scholarships specifically designed to help African American or Black students

Fast Web Resources:  Educational institutions, foundations, and other organizations with scholarship opportunities for African American students Fast Web scholarship list

Native American Students:
Additional Minority Scholarship Resources:

A listing of 45+ scholarships collected by Purdue University Global. These are general scholarships available to minority students planning to attend any university. 
Purdue Global List