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Next NC Scholarship to Fully Cover Tuition and Fees for Many North Carolina Community College Students

Students whose families earn $80k or less should complete the FAFSA to apply!

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This fall, North Carolina community college students from families making $80,000 or less each year could receive a state scholarship that fully covers the costs of tuition and fees. According to the terms of the Next NC Scholarship, eligible North Carolina students attending a community college will receive up to $3,000 per year, covering educational expenses with funds that will not need to be repaid.

Current and incoming Blue Ridge Community College students must simply complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to automatically be considered for the scholarship. The priority filing date for incoming Blue Ridge Community College students is August 5, 2024.

“The College Foundation of North Carolina has created an intuitive scholarship experience with the Next NC Scholarship,” said Jon Grunder, Blue Ridge’s director of financial aid. “Blue Ridge students simply need to complete the FAFSA to be automatically considered for the scholarship. For many in Western North Carolina, it will be an excellent opportunity to pursue higher education at little or no cost.”

Grunder explained that Blue Ridge Community College’s financial aid team is available to assist students with completing the application, as well as to provide information about other financial aid options. For example, students ineligible for the Next NC Scholarship may be eligible for one of more than 200 additional scholarships offered through the College’s Educational Foundation. Completing the FAFSA is the first step for consideration of most Blue Ridge scholarship opportunities.

Students can learn more about the Next NC Scholarship and FAFSA completion at and begin their Blue Ridge application at Blue Ridge’s Financial Aid office may be reached at, and general admissions questions may be directed to 828-694-1800.

To receive the Next NC Scholarship, students must be:
• A North Carolina resident who is eligible for in-state tuition
• A high school graduate (high school equivalency completers are eligible)
• From a household with an annual Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $80,000 or less
• Enrolled in an eligible undergraduate curriculum program for the 2024-2025 academic year
• Taking at least 6 credit hours per semester (part-time students will receive a partial award)
• Meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards of the school you plan to attend
• A student who has completed the 2024-2025 FAFSA, with a resulting Student Aid Index (SAI) at or below 7,500 (once complete, the financial aid office at the college/university you plan to attend will determine and confirm eligibility.)

Detailed eligibility requirements are available at

The Next NC Scholarship supplements the federal Pell Grant with the state-funded financial aid program to create a simpler scholarship experience than in previous years. The scholarship can also be applied toward books, food, housing and other educational expenses. The Next NC Scholarship was created in partnership between the North Carolina Community College System, North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority, and University of North Carolina System, with state funding provided in part by the NC Education Lottery.