Next NC Scholarship Offers Debt-Free Community College to Many Families

A new scholarship will help more North Carolina families attend university and offer them debt-free community college. The Next NC Scholarship is a financial aid program that helps most North Carolinians from households making $80,000 or less pursue a higher education by fully covering tuition and fees at any community college or more than half, if not all, of tuition and fees to attend any public university in the state. This is money that does not have to be paid back. While many students can have their tuition and fees covered at Beaufort County Community College through the Beaufort Promise Scholarship, Next NC can help students who live outside of the college’s service area.

The Next NC Scholarship combines the federal Pell Grant with the state-funded financial aid program to form a simplified and predictable scholarship award that is easier to understand and makes education more affordable so a greater number of North Carolinians can pursue a degree. Financial aid staff at Beaufort CCC will automatically award all federal, state, and local grants to eligible students.

Qualifying students attending community college will receive at least $3,000. That means having their tuition and fees 100% covered at any of the 58 North Carolina community colleges. Those attending a public university in the state will get a minimum of $5,000, which pays for more than half, if not all, of tuition and fees at any of the 16 public universities in the state. The scholarship award can also go toward books, food, and housing.

To be eligible, students must be North Carolina residents and high school graduates or have a GED or high school equivalency. They must be from a household with and Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $80,000. Students must enroll in an undergraduate curriculum program for at least six credit hours and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards. Students who complete the FAFSA and have a Student Aid Index (SAI) at or below 7500 will qualify.

Applying is simple for families and independent students. By filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), they are automatically matched for eligible aid. There are no additional forms to fill out. The Next NC Scholarship priority filing date is June 1, 2024, for UNC System schools and August 15, 2024, for NC community colleges.