North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship

North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship (NCELS) 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.

If eligible for the North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship, you are allowed to receive the scholarship for eight semesters (or equivalent). The NCELS is awarded for fall and spring semesters only (summer is ineligible).

Eligibility and Requirements

  • your most recent ISIR and the ISIR on which the grant is being awarded reflect NC residency
  • your current residency determination is NC resident, or you have been continuously enrolled since being determined an NC resident by the 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
  • maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • 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:
    • if your expected family contribution is 5000 or less, you may be eligible for the North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship
  • if you have earned a baccalaureate (four-year) college degree, you are ineligible
  • if you have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) between 1901 to 5000, you are eligible

If you do not establish North Carolina residency, your state grant awards will be void. Complete your residency determination.