Golden Leaf Scholarships Available for North Carolina College Students

Although many individuals prefer city life, the attraction of rural places is still powerful. There are several benefits to choosing to live in the country. However, students from small towns appear to be at a disadvantage. Luckily, many scholarship programs, such as the Golden Leaf Scholarships, are explicitly designed for small-town students, which is a welcome development.

Just because students come from small villages does not rule out the possibility of attending college in the future. Not only do these possibilities provide free money to attend higher education institutions, but they also provide access to some of the most outstanding colleges and universities in North Carolina. Check out these scholarships if you’re ready to start embracing your unique background and learning more about yourself.

Golden Leaf Scholarships
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About the Golden Leaf Scholarships

Rural, tobacco-dependent, and economically challenged communities of North Carolina are targeted through the Golden Leaf Scholarships program to expand economic prospects. These scholarships are an investment in students who have committed to attending a North Carolina university, graduating, and relocating to a rural community in the state after graduation.

With more than 25,000 students receiving scholarships and grants since its founding in 1999, the Golden Leaf Foundation has provided more than $55.2 million in scholarship and grant money. Its purpose is for scholarship winners to obtain the talent, knowledge, and skills that will enable them to contribute to the growth of their communities.

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These scholarships are accessible to students who attend participating UNC System universities and private colleges and universities in North Carolina. They are also available to community college students.

The scholarships are made available by several organizations that collaborate to develop leaders from rural areas, including the Golden Leaf Foundation, the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA), and the North Carolina Rural Center.

Program Benefits

Up to $2,250 per school year, including summer term, is available for curriculum students. Also, up to $1,850 per year is available for students enrolling in occupational programs. Awards can be applied toward tuition, fees, books, supplies at the community college where registered, transportation, childcare expenses related to attending classes, and credential testing upon course completion.

On the other hand, winners of the Golden Leaf Scholarships for Colleges and Universities are eligible for a four-year scholarship totaling up to $14,000 ($3,500 a year or up to four years). In comparison, community college transfer students are eligible for $3,500 a year for up to three years.

Yet, the scholarships cover far more than just tuition and room and board. They also give chances for leadership development and expose academics to a variety of professional experiences. Furthermore, they guarantee a lifelong connection to an outstanding community of Golden Leaf Scholars from all around the state of North Carolina and beyond.

Students who get scholarships to attend colleges and universities in North Carolina can also engage in extra leadership and internship programs, which is a unique opportunity. These opportunities allow scholars to obtain practical experience in prospective professional sectors of interest while developing critical communication and leadership skills.

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Lead 4 Excellence (L4E) Experience

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), one of the nation’s top leadership development organizations, will give Golden Leaf Scholars leadership training over two years.

Among the benefits of this opportunity include the flexibility of online leadership training courses, the customized assistance of a highly skilled executive coach, and the potential to form collaborative learning connections with other scholars in the cohort.

Rural Internship Initiative

Students can earn money while gaining valuable work experience at a qualifying company, non-profit, or government organization situated in a rural North Carolina region via Golden Leaf’s paid internship program.

Golden Leaf Scholarships Eligibility Requirements

First and foremost, the Golden Leaf Scholarships are available to only North Carolina residents. To apply, applicants must reside in a qualifying rural North Carolina county. Students must also be graduating North Carolina high school seniors or a currently enrolled North Carolina community college transfer student enrolling full-time in the fall to be eligible for the rewards.

Since these are competitive scholarships, applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 out of 4 scales. Furthermore, they must plan to enroll in a participating North Carolina public or private college or university. As part of the application procedures, applicants are asked to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that does not exceed the maximum permitted by Golden Leaf Foundation.

Most importantly, applicants must communicate a commitment to returning to a rural North Carolina county after graduation from college.

Golden Leaf Scholarships Application

Students interested in applying for community college scholarships should contact the financial aid office at their respective institutions for additional information on how to proceed. Data is accessible at their financial assistance office, and forms must be completed and returned to the financial aid office to be considered.

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It is not suggested that applicants provide their personal information to the Golden Leaf Foundation for consideration.

Students interested in applying for private college and university scholarships, on the other hand, should visit the CFNC scholarship page, which may be found here. If they want to be considered for the award, they must apply to the Golden Leaf Colleges and Universities website.

Candidates must also send an electronic copy of their academic transcript, which must include the final grades from the most recent fall semester, in addition to the application form. Additionally, they must complete and submit the FAFSA for the academic year they want to attend.

Closing Date

Applications for scholarships for colleges and universities will be accepted until March 1. However, students attending qualified North Carolina community colleges must contact the financial aid office at their respective universities when they want to enroll to find out when the application deadlines are. Candidates will be notified of their prizes around the middle of April.

Contact Details

If you have questions about the Golden Leaf Scholarships, send an email to or call at 252-442-7474.

Golden Leaf Scholarships Official Website

Lastly, apply to or learn more about the program at If you are looking for more financial resources, kindly check out our guide on this Google Lime Scholarship.

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