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 Mrs. Wicker 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.) 

       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 Admissions and Beyond website: website put together by a College Admissions Advisor on Finanacial Aid

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.
       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). 

       Specific Scholarships for Students to Consider
                  (Please check frequently for new items posted here)
DEADLINE is the last week of March to Mrs. Wicker. 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 Mrs. Wicker. 
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 Scholarships, Cannady 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 Mrs. Wicker if you have questions.


Interested in Business (specifically Marketing, Entrepreneurship/Starting a Business, and Software Development): Check this scholarship out:  Due in December.

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. 

Interested in Marketing, Journalism or a related field? Check out the Higher Visibility scholarship. (Essay Contest) Due in May.

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

Newton Baby Scholarship for students interested in going to school (bachelor's degree after BCEC) for a health and wellness related career. The deadline is in December. Please go to this website for more info and to apply:

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: (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:

ACT Champion Scholarship:
If you are a first generation college student who has a great resume of community involvement, check these out and apply for this scholarship:
United Federal Credit Union Scholarship: This scholarship is for members of the United Federal Credit Union (but maybe you could join now??), and recognizes academic excellence and community involvement. It is for $100 and the application is due at the end of March. See their website for details and an application. 

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 Mrs. Wicker 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 Mrs. Wicker 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.) All you have to do is let Mrs. Wicker 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. 
Scholarship for Students with Dyslexia: Please see this website regarding the Karina Eide Memorial Scholarship for students with dyslexia. It is a $2500 scholarship. Applications are due March 1st. 

DAR Scholarships: Please see this document about a number of scholarships that you can apply for. The deadline is in February.  Areas include: History, Political Science, Economics, Medical and Nursing, and others. There is a scholarship for a student of American Indian decent. 
2016 Prudential Spirit of Community Award: For any student who has participated in community service over the past year (which should be all of you), apply by November 3, 2015 at Winners of this award are eligible to win a $1000 award. See Mrs. Wicker for more info.
Interested in Being a Teacher?
  • Check out the Lenoir-Rhyne Teaching Scholars Program for $5500 each year in scholarships (maybe more depending on need and merit). See Mrs. Wicker if you are interested. 
  • The UNCG Teacher Education Fellows Program awards a $20,000.00 scholarship distributed incrementally over four years of study at UNCG. Check out this flyer for more info. Applications are due January 1, 2016.
  • Elon College Teaching Fellows: a four-year, $28,500 scholarship opportunity for the preparation of teachers who will become leaders in the field. After applying to Elon, students may apply to the Teaching Fellows program until the deadline of January 10. See the website linked here for more information. 
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarships: For students who "work hard and have financial need." See this website for more info:
Coca Cola Scholarships: Check out this website for more info.   The application is a lot of work, but can really pay off.  Deadline is in the fall. $2500 Essay Contest: see this link for more information. Deadline is in August. 

Zip Recruiter $3000 Scholarship Essay Contest
: See this link

MLK Essay or Spoken Word Scholarship: see this link.
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. (Email Mrs. Wicker for a pdf of your transcript.) 
Betsy Justus Scholarship:  This scholarship is for women interested in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. This is for $1000 per year. The application form is available online here. The Application opens in May for the following school year. See Mrs. Wicker with any questions.  
The Tomorrow Fund Scholarship for Hispanic Students: This scholarship is available for immigrants and refugees. Find out more online here. The deadline is May 1.  See other scholarships for minorities and all students on the Triangle Community Foundation's website.

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. 
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 Mrs. Wicker and check out more info here if you are planning to apply to Chapel Hill and would like to submit an application/entry for UNC Chapel Hill's Thomas Wolfe Scholarship
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. 
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 Mrs. Wicker.
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)
North Carolina Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA) and the Carolinas Food Industry Council (CFIC):  These two organizations are awarding over $100,000 in scholarships in NC. They will recognize students whose academic credentials fall within an average to above average range.  Applications and official transcripts must be received or post-marked by the March deadline. To apply for a scholarship, go to: Talk to Mrs. Wicker about getting your transcript sent. 
Buick Achievers Scholarship: If you are interested in Science, Math, Technology, and Engineering, you should check out 
Herff Jones Believe in U Scholarship:  Early College can nominate one senior who has shown leadership, academic performance, and community service. Please let Mrs. Wicker know via email ( or in person if you are interested in being considered for this opportunity. 
A variety of scholarships for Buncombe County Seniors. Check to see if you are eligible for any and talk to Mrs. Wicker for more information.  
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 Mrs. Wicker for more information and to apply.   
SunTrust Off to College Sweepstakes: 30 winners of $500 will be chosen between now and mid-May. Enter at 
Veteran's Service Scholarships: Students whose parent(s) or guardian(s) are war veterans may qualify for certain scholarships. See Mrs. Wicker for more information. 
Interested in Accounting? See Mrs. Wicker for information on scholarships offered by the North Carolina Society of Accountants. Applications are due by April 15th (get your taxes:)). Click here to read more about it.
Interested in Teaching? Check out the flyer for this scholarship opportunity at UNCG!  Or this website for information on Lenoir-Rhyne's teaching scholars program.
Interested in Teaching?  Check out this program and scholarship at Catawba College.  See the flyer and brochure for more information.  
This scholarship is just for Early College Students: Noyce Teaching Scholars
If you are planning to major in Education:  Apply for the Kate S. Reeves Memorial Scholarship. Available to females who plan to major in Education. See Mrs. Wicker for the application. Deadline is in March.

Interested in a Career in Education? Check out this information $500 scholarship for high school seniors interested in pursuing education as a career.  This scholarship is provided by the Alpha Phi Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma International Society for Women Educators. Application is linked here. DUE DATE: June 15th, 2015 
Interested in Teaching?  Apply for the Ellen Simmons Howes Prospective Educator Scholarship! Scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each will be awarded to four students, one from each of the four geographic areas in North Carolina. Deadline is in March. See Mrs. Wicker for more info and if you are applying (I need to fill out and submit a form for you.
Interested in teaching in a STEM field? See Mrs. Wicker about the Noyce Scholarship at Catawba College.
Interested in Computer Science or Atmospheric Science? Check out the UNCA scholarship available at 
Interested in majoring in Music?: Check out the Ione M. Allen Scholarship by checking out this flyer or at 
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. Deadline: April 30, 2015. See details here:
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.
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.)
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.
Betsy Justus Scholarship: For females interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. $1000 grant, go to for more information and to apply. Application will be posted in January. 
North Carolina Child Support Council Scholarship: If one parent is a member of the NC Child Support Council or if you are a client of the Child Support Program, check out the application for this scholarship here or talk to Mrs. Wicker.
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.
Ronald McDonald House Charities Scholarship Program: Four different scholarships, some for specific ethnicities, and one for all students. Application deadline is in January. Visit to find out more and to apply.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship: Anyone is eligible to apply, especially those passionate about civil rights. Applications must be mailed and postmarked by the  February deadline.  
Montreat College WNC Scholarship: Students must have a 3.0 and visit and apply to Montreat College by a January deadline. For more information see Mrs. Wicker or contact Montreat at 800-622-6968 or
 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

The following guide focuses on recent decisions within our government to roll back the DACA program. It answers frequently asked questions about the change, goes over undocumented students' rights, and includes a directory of resources students can use to get help moving forward.
Students' Guide to DACA Phaseout

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

Unidos Scholarship: If you are planning to attend/apply for NC State, Chapel Hill, and/or Duke and you are a latino/a student, ask about the Unidos Scholarship (call the financial aid or scholarship office at the college).

MALDEF Scholarship Resource Guide, includes pages and pages of resources and scholarships for Latino students, both documented and undocumented. (I will update this each year as I get the new document...even the older versions are helpful to see all that is out there.)
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). 
Ronald McDonald House Charities: Hacer Scholarship for Latino/a students. (Scholarships are also available for African-American, Asian, and Hispanic graduating seniors.) 
La Unidad Latina: Resources and information on Scholarships available for Hispanic students. 
Golden Doors Scholars: Specifically for undocumented students 
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (for community college): under DACA, students who are undocumented or non-citizens can have their employers pay their community college tuition in order to get in-state tuition (and then students can pay their employers back). See Mrs. Wicker for more information.
 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: (search for this scholarship and others, too!!)

Ronald McDonald House Charities: Scholarships are available for African-American, Asian, and Hispanic graduating seniors. 
See this list and navigate through the site to explore more scholarship opportunities for African American students on FastWeb. 
Native American Students:
Interested in a career in the healthcare field check out the Native American Health Education Fund