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Applications Sought for Golden LEAF Scholarship Program

215 rural scholars will receive award up to $12,000 to attend NC colleges

RALEIGH, N.C. – Senator Chuck Edwards (R-Henderson) invites Western North Carolina high school seniors and community college transfer students to apply for the Golden LEAF Scholarship Program. Applications for the 2020-21 academic year are currently available; the deadline to apply ends March 1, 2020. Scholarship information and application are available at CFNC.org/goldenleaf.


This year, the Golden LEAF Scholarship program will award 215 rural high school seniors and NC community college transfer students to receive scholarship funding to attend a participating four-year NC college or university of their choice for the 2020-2021 school year. The program’s goal of helping rural students build their knowledge and skills with the hope that these students will return to live and work in rural communities.


The awards are valued at $12,000 ($3,000 per year for up to four years) for high school seniors enrolling full-time as a first-year student or a currently enrolled community college transfer students can receive $3,000 per year for up to three years for enrolling full-time at any participating North Carolina college or university in the upcoming fall semester.


Recipients are selected based upon multiple factors, including the ability to effectively communicate a desire to return after graduation to a rural county that is economically distressed. Applicants must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and demonstrate financial needs determined by the application process, have a GPA of no less than 3.0, and be a resident of a rural county that is economically distressed and/or tobacco-dependent.


“As a product of the community college system, born and raised in humble mountain heritage, I recognize the value of this opportunity to our rural students and Western North Carolina and implore them to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Sen. Edwards. “To our advantage, Golden LEAF recognizes investing in our state’s rural students is an investment for our rural communities,” Edwards went on to say.


As part of the Golden LEAF Foundation’s mission to increase economic opportunity, the Foundation has awarded hundreds of scholarships over the course of 20 years to North Carolina students, many of whom have, in turn, started careers in rural North Carolina and provided support for North Carolina’s rural communities. In addition to the financial award, scholarship recipients can participate in the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program. This optional program provides scholars leadership training through the Center for Creative Leadership and paid summer internship opportunities in rural North Carolina communities.


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