North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship (ELS)

If you do not establish North Carolina residency on RDS, your State Grant awards will be void!

Complete your residency determination here.

North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship (ELS)
Facts: Requirements:
  • The North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship (ELS) was created by the 2005 General Assembly to provide financial assistance to needy North Carolina resident students attending eligible colleges and universities located within the state of North Carolina.
  • Eligible students are allowed to receive for eight semesters or equivalent.
  • The student’s most recent ISIR and the ISIR on which the grant is being awarded reflect NC residency AND
  • There is a current RDS determination of NC resident, OR
  • The student has been continuously enrolled since being determined an NC resident by RDS, or by the school for determinations that took place prior to RDS implementation.
  • Enroll for at least six credit hours per semester in a eligible program
  • Hold a High School Diploma or GED Certificate
  • Meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements of the institution
  • Be admitted, enrolled and classified as an undergraduate student in matriculated status in a degree, certificate or diploma program at an eligible North Carolina institution (UNC campuses, Community College Campuses, Independent College Campuses and certain other private colleges)
  • Eligibility is determined based on the same criteria as the Federal Pell Grant with one exception; students with an expected family contribution of 5000 or less may be eligible for the North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship. Students who have earned baccalaureate (four-year) college degrees are ineligible.
  • Students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) between 1901 to 5000 are eligible.
How to Apply:
  • Applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which is also used to qualify for Federal Pell Grants.
  • If you are applying for Fall 2017, Spring 2018 or Summer 2018 complete the 2017-2018 FAFSA form. The North Carolina Community Education Lottery Scholarship is not awarded for Summer terms; only Fall and Spring if eligible.


Students may also refer to the 2017-2018 North Carolina State Grant Payment Schedule.