The four-year Golden LEAF Scholarship information and applications for 2021-2022 school year are now available at CFNC.org. A total of 215 awards will be offered to first-time recipients from qualifying counties for the 2021-2022 academic year. Applications are due March 1, 2021.
Scholarships are valued at $12,000 ($3,000 per year for up to four years) for high school seniors attending a participating four-year North Carolina college or university in the fall. Community college transfer students can receive $3,000 per year for up to three years for attending a participating college or university.
Recipients are selected based upon multiple factors including an interest in returning to a rural county after graduation. Applicants must also fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and demonstrate financial need as determined by the application process; have a GPA of no less than 3.0; and be a resident of a rural county that is economically distressed and/or tobacco dependent for at least 10 years. Click here for the full list of eligible counties.
“The Golden LEAF Scholarship program has helped more than 5,600 rural students attend the state’s colleges and universities since it began 20 years ago,” said Golden LEAF President, Chief Executive Officer Scott T. Hamilton. “This scholarship program is a component of the Foundation’s strategy to help rural communities grow by creating a future generation of skilled, educated workers to come back home to live, work and raise families.”
Students like Nia Dickens of Nash County are gaining valuable skills to bring back home. She is a senior at Winston-Salem University and majoring in business administration with a concentration in marketing and a minor in finance.
“I was born and raised in Rocky Mount,” said Dickens. “I currently have an internship with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Service as a Researcher. After graduation, I plan to return home to Rocky Mount to work with businesses and help build up my community. I believe that a person’s actions are scaled by the impact of the lives they touch. If I give back to rural N.C., then I can be satisfied with the work that I do.”
Dickens wants to become a business analyst or work in the tech industry.
The Golden LEAF Scholarship Program is administered by North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority and funded by the Golden LEAF Foundation. A complete list of program requirements, participating campuses and qualifying counties can be viewed at CFNC.org. Call 1-800-700-1775, Ext. 4658 or send an email to [email protected], for more information.
Scholarship recipients also may apply for the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program. This program, offered through the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro provides two leadership-building conferences, a summer internship, and a stipend. Students completing all four years of the leadership program can receive up to $8,830 in stipends in addition to the Golden LEAF Scholarship award.