Applications for 4-year Golden LEAF Scholarship due March 1

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Jan. 14—ROCKY MOUNT — Eligible North Carolina high school seniors and community college transfer students have until March 1 to apply for a Golden LEAF Scholarship.

A total of 215 scholarships will be offered to first-time recipients from qualifying rural and economically distressed or tobacco-dependent counties, Golden LEAF announced Thursday. Each scholarship is worth $14,000-$3,500 per year for up to four years — for North Carolina high school students attending a participating North Carolina college or university. State community college transfer students can receive $3,500 per year for up to three years.

This year, the Golden LEAF board of directors increased the scholarship amount from $12,000 to $14,000 over four years. Current scholarship recipients will receive the increased award beginning in the fall of 2022.

"The Golden LEAF Scholarship Program is an important component of the Foundation's workforce preparedness strategy," said Scott T. Hamilton, Golden LEAF president and chief executive officer. "Our goal is for Golden LEAF scholars to gain the talent, knowledge, and skills necessary to help North Carolina's rural communities thrive by returning home to live, work, and raise families."

To be eligible, students must be a graduating North Carolina high school senior or a currently enrolled North Carolina community college transfer student, enrolling full-time in the fall at a participating N.C. public or private college or university, according to Golden LEAF. Recipients are selected based upon multiple factors, to include an intent to return to a rural North Carolina county after graduation. Applicants must also fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, and demonstrate financial need as determined by the application process. They also must have a cumulative GPA of no less than 2.5 and be a resident of a rural North Carolina county that is economically distressed and/or tobacco dependent.

Robeson, Bladen, Columbus, Hoke and Scotland counties are among the qualifying counties. The University of North Carolina at Pembroke and the other UNC system campuses are among the qualifying colleges and universities, as are Campbell University, Duke University, East Carolina University, Elizabeth City State University, Methodist University and North Carolina State University.

Students awarded the Golden LEAF Scholarship also are eligible to participate in additional leadership development and internship opportunities. These experiences allow scholars to participate in paid internships in their career field of interest, grow their professional networks, and build key communication and leadership skills.

For more than 20 years, the Golden LEAF Scholarship Program has provided more than 6,000 scholarships to help rural students attend the state's colleges and universities.

The Golden LEAF Scholarship Program is administered by the 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 Call 1-800-700-1775, ext. 4658 or send an email to [email protected], for more information.

For more information about the Golden LEAF Scholarship Program, go online to

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