5 On Your Side

NC offers college options, aid for all

Posted October 13, 2015 2:42 p.m. EDT

With over 100 colleges and universities across the Tar Heel state, both recent high school grads and returning learners are sure to find a place to continue their education.

The University of North Carolina System comprises 16 universities, including UNC-CH, NC State, NC Central University, NC A&T, UNC-Wilmington and Appalachian State. There are three dozen private colleges and universities to choose from, including Louisburg, William Peace, Duke, Davidson, Catawba, High Point, Shaw and Wake Forest. And the 58 community college options assure that there is a campus within 30 miles of every citizen in North Carolina.

As North Carolina's economy transitions from a manufacturing and farm base to new jobs in technology and the health sciences, a postsecondary credential – a 2-year or 4-year degree or a postsecondary certificate – becomes all the more important.

By 2020, 65 percent of all jobs will require a postsecondary education.

At the current rate of production, the United States will fall short by 5 million workers who have a postsecondary education.

For high schoolers, the guidance counselor is an obvious first step to help identify a college, a major and the funding opportunities to help pay tuition and costs.

North Carolina also has a web site and a toll-free number offering expert advice on community colleges, colleges and universities and all the grants, scholarships, and loans available for NC citizens.

Visit CFNC.org any time, or call toll-free 866-866-CFNC between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday or 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays.

College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) is a free service of the State of North Carolina that helps students plan, apply and pay for college. CFNC is a partnership of Pathways (NC Community College System, NC Independent Colleges and Universities, the UNC System, NC Department of Public Instruction), the N.C. State Education Assistance Authority, and College Foundation, Inc.

Key dates for the college-bound

NC College Application Week: Nov. 2-6

FAFSA Day: Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016

What does it cost to apply?

There is no fee to apply to any community college in North Carolina.

Application fees for public and private four-year institutions vary. During College Application Week, many colleges and universities waive the application fee.

Fee waivers for need-based students are also available from the College Board, ACT and NACAC.

Additional information for Transfer Students available on CFNC.org

If I’m in the military, do I get in-state tuition?

          Active duty – YES- if permanent duty station is in NC OR home of record is NC on LES

          Spouse or child of active duty member – yes - same as above

          Veterans – MAYBE- the 2014 Choice Act provides for in state tuition for certain veterans

UNC Minimum Admissions Requirements:      

800 on SAT (V&M) or 17 on ACT Composite score (writing score not required)

          Weighted GPA 2.5 or higher

Minimum course requirements met

          Individual campuses may have higher requirements