Our mission is to make an NC State education affordable and accessible. We provide scholarships, grants, loans, and work funding to support students and their families. Our staff is here to help as you navigate the process of applying for financial aid.
To be considered for financial assistance, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form, submitted online at www.studentaid.gov, evaluates the family’s ability to pay for educational expenses. Students who submit a FAFSA to the federal processor by March 1 are given first priority for need-based scholarship and grant consideration.
By completing the FAFSA, students are considered for all forms of federal financial aid, as well as most types of state and institutional aid. Some academic scholarships may require separate applications. Determination of the applicant’s need is based on estimated educational costs as established by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid and a consideration of the family’s financial strength, as determined by the analysis of the FAFSA.
Aid is available on a non-discriminatory basis to all qualifying students based on the applicant’s financial need. Financial aid offers combine aid from all sources including the federal, state and institutional funds, and private entities. Financial aid offers can include gift aid (scholarships and grants), student loans, and/or employment through the Federal Work-Study program.
Students must reapply for aid each year. Renewal is based on continued financial need as well as satisfactory academic progress as defined by the Policy on Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Eligibility.
Please visit the Student Services Center website for more detailed information regarding types of aid and how to apply.
NC State offers a variety of scholarships for both incoming first-year students and those who are continuing at NC State. Most scholarships require academic competitiveness or the demonstration of a specific talent or characteristic. Some scholarships require that students also demonstrate financial need. Once admitted to NC State, students can apply for scholarship consideration by using PACK ASSIST, NC State University's scholarship application portal. To maximize scholarship consideration, students should apply for admission by the Early Action deadline and complete the FAFSA by March 1.
In addition to these university-wide scholarships, many colleges and departments offer scholarships to students enrolled in their academic programs. These scholarships, funded by alumni, friends of the university, foundations, and industry, are available to both incoming freshmen and continuing students. Consult the college or department websites for important deadlines and apply online with PACK ASSIST.
NC State encourages students to search for private scholarships. Many organizations offer scholarships based on place of residence, background, professional affiliations and/or field of study. Students should use the many free online scholarship search websites to search and apply for outside scholarships.
University Academic Scholarships
The Park Scholarships program, established in 1996, brings exceptional students to NC State University based on outstanding accomplishments and potential in scholarship, leadership, service, and character. The program develops and supports Park Scholars in these areas, preparing them for lifelong contributions to the university, state, nation, and world.
Approximately 40 scholarships will be awarded this year to outstanding entering freshmen for undergraduate study in any discipline at NC State. As one of the most prestigious and comprehensive undergraduate scholarships in the nation, the Park Scholarship covers the cost of attendance for four years and includes educational trips, retreats, and seminars; enrichment grants to fund study abroad, research projects, service activities, and conferences; individualized faculty mentoring; and more.
The Park Scholarships are named for the late Roy H. Park ’31, an NC State alumnus who created the charitable Park Foundation, dedicated to education, media, and the environment. The Park Foundation initially funded the Park Scholars through annual grants; then, in September 2013, the Park Foundation committed $50 million to begin an endowment for Park Scholarships. With others’ support, this endowment will sustain the Park Scholarships program in perpetuity.
To date, 20 classes of Park Scholars have graduated and built a vibrant alumni network. For more information, visit the Park Scholarships website.
Goodnight Scholars Program
The Goodnight Scholars Program, funded by a gift from Dr. Jim and Ann Goodnight, began in 2008 with 25 scholars. Since that time, it has grown into a comprehensive student development program designed to develop scholars into leaders within the STEM and/or education fields. The Program celebrated its tenth graduating class in May 2021, adding to its network of alumni stretching from coast to coast in the United States and throughout the world: all of whom are using their STEM talent to address critical societal, economical, and educational issues. Currently, the Program has more than 200 active students, and expanded to include transfer students beginning in Fall 2017.
The scholarship is targeted at low and middle-income families from North Carolina and is limited to students studying in the STEM disciplines or affiliated education majors. The current annual value of the scholarship is $20,500 and is renewable for up to four years for first-year students, and two years for transfer students. In addition to the scholarship, Goodnight Scholars have access to an assortment of developmental programming focused on their professional and personal growth, as well as enrichment grant funding to support their unique endeavors.
Dr. Jim Goodnight is founder and CEO of the SAS Institute, the world’s leading business intelligence software vendor. Ann Goodnight, director of community relations at SAS, serves on the University of North Carolina Board of Governors and is a former member of the NC State Board of Trustees. Both are NC State graduates. Their frequent interactions with Goodnight Scholars provide unique and invaluable exposure to visionary leaders. Please visit the Goodnight Scholars website for more information about the program and its exceptional scholars.
The Caldwell Fellows
The Caldwell Fellows is an intensive and comprehensive leadership development program that over 50 years at NC State has produced 1300+ outstanding alumni shaped by the Robert Greenleaf model of Servant Leadership. Supported through endowments held by the NC State Alumni Association, over 100 alumni 'invest' in individual Fellows, providing funds for their development through experiential learning. Students selected as Fellows are expected to engage deeply in the program's rich offerings, which include community based service-learning, wilderness adventure, international engagement, and capstone training at the Center for Creative Leadership. Students receive three years of stipend (divided 70-30 between tuition and funds available for experiential learning), all contingent upon a students' maintenance of the program ideals and a 3.25 cumulative GPA.
The application period for selection begins in January of each year, after a student’s initial semester(s) at NC State is complete. The program actively seeks applicants from all colleges at NC State. The rigorous selection process is based on an application portfolio which includes essays, a short video, letters of recommendation, and the first semester transcript at NC State (minimum 3.25 GPA); high school transcripts and standardized test scores are not reviewed. The application is available on the Caldwell Fellows website. Application reviews by campus faculty and program alumni determine the finalists who are invited to interviews in February. Only first year students are eligible to apply.
The Caldwell Fellows program was created to honor the legacy of John T. Caldwell and to carry out his spirit and ideals. As Chancellor of NC State for 16 years, he presided over the university as a servant leader: inspiring excellence, modeling moral behavior and marshaling the strengths of the entire campus to further the common good. Guided by a deep respect for the potential inside every individual, he held a vision of NC State as a place where young people could find and refine their unique capabilities and potential. The Caldwell endowment is the only university-wide merit-based scholarship funded by alumni and supporters of NC State.
The program also derives from the NC Fellows program, originally known as the Richardson Fellows program, established in 1968 by Smith Richardson of the Richardson Vicks Corporation. Concerned for the state’s future leadership, Mr. Richardson established Fellows Programs on North Carolina campuses and charged them with developing leadership in their promising students. Caldwell Fellows maintain close ties with the internationally acclaimed Center for Creative Leadership, also created by the Smith Richardson Foundation.
Open minds and open hearts are core to the Caldwell Fellows community. Curiosity, creativity, respect for diversity, and commitment to service to the greater good are common qualities which are sought and developed in all Fellows.