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North Carolina Education Benefits for Military & Veterans

Discover North Carolina’s higher education benefits and programs for the military, National Guard, veterans, and dependents, including tuition assistance, scholarships, and Yellow Ribbon schools.

Military and Veteran Education Benefits in North Carolina

North Carolina Scholarship for Children of Wartime Veterans

The North Carolina Scholarship Program is for children (under the age of 25) of qualifying wartime veterans who have died, were disabled in the line of duty, and POW/MIA veterans.

This scholarship includes funding for up to 8 semesters. The parent must have been a legal resident of the state when entering military service, or the child was born in North Carolina and “has been a resident of North Carolina continuously since birth.”

Review the application forms for this program carefully. Submission deadlines may vary depending on whether the parent was 100% disabled or received a partial disability rating (less than 100%) from the VA.

Learn more about the North Carolina Scholarship for Children of Wartime Veterans

North Carolina National Guard Tuition Assistance Program

Tuition assistance is available for qualifying North Carolina Army and Air National Guard members. This military financial aid is for qualifying programs earning an associate, bachelor, or graduate degree.

This program’s availability is subject to funding; if funding runs out, it may not be available for all applicants. To qualify, applicants must be “active with no disciplinary action,” and two years must remain on the applicant’s military service commitment. Applicants must make satisfactory academic progress.

Learn more about the North Carolina National Guard Tuition Assistance Program

North Carolina Higher Education Programs

Before applying for any scholarship program or related opportunity, completing a Federal Application Form for Student Aid or FAFSA is a good idea. While FAFSA can’t help students with state-level education benefits, many such benefits have FAFSA requirements or require you to exhaust specific FAFSA options first. 

You can find North Carolina colleges using our college locator tool.

North Carolina Residency Determination

Depending on the nature of your funding and schoolwork in North Carolina, it may be necessary to officially determine your status as an in-state student or out-of-state applicant. That’s where this service comes in.

According to the official site, it’s also designed to serve as a one-stop residency determination for applying to “multiple North Carolina public colleges and universities and to demonstrate residency for state aid programs consideration at all (public and private) North Carolina colleges and universities.”

This program partners with the University of North Carolina (UNC), the North Carolina Community College System, the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority, and North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.

Learn more about North Carolina Residency Determination

NC Promise Tuition Plan

NorthCarolina.edu says the state is “home to the nation’s first public university,” and as such, the state has committed to creating education pathways for its residents. The NC Promise Tuition Plan is part of that commitment.

Through NC Promise, four University of North Carolina schools have reduced tuition to $500 per student per semester. The participating schools are:

    • Elizabeth City State University
    • Fayetteville State University
    • University of North Carolina at Pembroke
    • Western Carolina University

Learn more about NC Promise

North Carolina Educational Assistance Authority

This organization exists to help future college students plan and pay for higher education in North Carolina. The official site has resources to help you plan your college journey and find resources to pay for it.

The organization’s official site describes it as a free service of the State of North Carolina. It operates in partnership with state-supported colleges and independent schools.

Learn more about the North Carolina Educational Assistance Authority

Select North Carolina State Scholarships for College Students

Next NC Scholarship

Next NC Scholarship offers full coverage of tuition and fees at any community college, and “more than half, if not all, of tuition and fees to attend any public university in the state” according to the NC Community Colleges official site. This is not a loan and does not have to be repaid.

To qualify:

    • You must be a North Carolina resident.
    • You must be eligible for in-state tuition.
    • You must be a high school graduate or have a GED and come from a household with an annual Adjusted Gross Income of $80,000 or less.
    • You must take six credit hours more per semester
    • You must make academic progress.

Learn more about the Next NC Scholarship

North Carolina American Indian Fund

The North Carolina American Indian Fund is designed to help American Indian students “in obtaining higher education by providing scholarships to students who demonstrate a commitment to the American Indian community, extracurricular and volunteer involvement, financial need, and academic success.”

To qualify, you must be a resident of North Carolina “currently enrolled in a post-secondary institution in the state” according to the official site. This scholarship program is for those “with current tribal enrollment and an award preference for “NC-state recognized tribe members.”

At press time, scholarships were listed at $1000 each, but the amount is subject to change depending on variables such as program funding and changes in policy.

Learn more about the North Carolina American Indian Fund

Select North Carolina Yellow Ribbon Colleges

The Yellow Ribbon program is designed to help veterans pay for college expenses not covered by the GI Bill. Not all colleges participate in Yellow Ribbon, and not all can be approved under the program. The list below is current at press time, but school requirements and other policies are always subject to change.

Before applying, check with the admissions office to see if your school is still in the Yellow Ribbon program

Johnson & Wales University-Charlotte

801 West Trade Street
Charlotte, NC
(980) 598-1000

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Jackson Hall, Campus Box 2200
Chapel Hill, NC

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

21 Peele Hall, Campus Box 7103
Raleigh, NC

Sandhills Community College

3395 Airport Rd
Pinehurst, NC
(910) 692-6185

Mcdowell Technical Community College

54 College Drive
Marion, NC
(828) 652-6021

Pitt Community College

1986 Pitt Tech Road
Greenville, NC
(252) 493-7200

Wake Technical Community College

9101 Fayetteville Road
Raleigh, NC

Western Carolina University

1 University Way
Cullowhee, NC
(828) 227-3074

At press time, all colleges in the list below are GI-Bill approved and participate in the Yellow Ribbon program. VA.gov reminds veterans that the Yellow Ribbon program is meant to help pay for higher out-of-state, private school, foreign school, or graduate school fees the Post-9/11 GI Bill doesn’t cover, and if you’re considering any North Carolina State-based education options, Yellow Ribbon can help.

You can find North Carolina colleges using our college locator tool.



About the author

Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.