Golden LEAF Scholarship applications available now

Published 3:32 pm Sunday, January 24, 2021

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ROCKY MOUNT — The Golden LEAF Scholarship application for the 2021-2022 academic year is now available at A total of 215 awards will be offered to first-time recipients from qualifying rural and economically distressed or tobacco-dependent counties, including Beaufort County. Applications are due March 1.

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

Recipients are selected based upon multiple factors including an interest in returning to a rural North Carolina county after graduation. Applicants must also fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and demonstrate financial need as determined by the application process; have a cumulative GPA of no less than 3.0; and be a resident of a rural North Carolina county that is economically distressed and/or tobacco dependent for at least 10 years. Click HERE for the full list of eligible counties.

“Since it began 20 years ago, the Golden LEAF Scholarship program has helped more than 5,600 rural students attend the state’s four year colleges and universities,” said Golden LEAF President, Chief Executive Officer Scott T. Hamilton. “This scholarship program is a component of the Foundation’s strategy to help rural communities grow by creating a future generation of skilled, educated workers to come back home to live, work, and raise families.”

The Golden LEAF Scholarship Program is administered by 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, for more information.

Scholarship recipients may also apply for the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program. This program, offered through the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, provides two leadership-building conferences, 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.