Golden LEAF Scholarship information and applications for 2020-21 are now available at CFNC.org/goldenleaf. A total of 215 awards will be offered to first-time recipients from qualifying counties for the 2020-21 academic year. Applications are due March 1.

The awards are valued at $12,000 ($3,000 per year for up to four years) for high school students attending a participating North Carolina college or university. Community college transfer students can receive $3,000 per year for up to three years.

Recipients are selected based upon multiple factors including the ability to effectively communicate a desire to return after graduation to a rural North Carolina county that is economically distressed. Applicants must be a high school senior enrolling full-time as a first-year student or a currently enrolled community college transfer student enrolling full-time at any participating North Carolina college or university in the fall of 2020; have a GPA of no less than 3.0; demonstrate financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid; be a resident of a rural county that is economically distressed and/or tobacco dependent. Ashe County is eligible.

“For 20 years, the Golden LEAF Scholarship Program has assisted rural students by providing the funding needed for a quality education to prepare them to enter the workforce,” Golden LEAF President and Chief Executive Officer Scott T. Hamilton said. “There is truly no better investment in rural communities than creating a future generation of skilled, educated workers to come back home to live, work and raise families.”

The scholarship program is funded through a Golden LEAF grant to the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority, which administers the program. A complete list of program requirements, participating campuses and qualifying counties can be viewed at CFNC.org/goldenleaf. Contact the College Foundation of North Carolina toll-free at (866) 866-2362, 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 leadership-building seminars, 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.

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