School Challenge Leaderboard

Thanks to the hard work, creativity and commitment of school counselors and partners across North Carolina, more students have completed the FAFSA application and are on their way to a high quality postsecondary degree or credential.

The following school districts and schools have reached the NC First in FAFSA Leaderboard based on FAFSA completion data provided by the U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid and total high school seniors provided by NC DPI.

*Updates to the leaderboard are made on a monthly basis. The next update will by July 13, 2021 to reflect June data.

To view these data at the district and school levels, please visit the NC First in FAFSA Tracker.

For frequently asked questions and to learn more about the FAFSA and school data used in this dashboard, please visit the FAQs.

NC First in FAFSA Leaderboard

As of May 28, 2021

FAFSA Completion Rate to date
For the 2020-21 academic year for the
2021-22 FAFSA application year
FAFSA Completion Rate Growth for Previous Month
(comparing the month from May 2021 to April 2021
and listing % point change)
  1. Yancey County Schools (65.9%)
  2. Elkin City Schools (63.9%)
  3. Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools (61.5%)
  4. Weldon City Schools (60.9%)
  5. Asheville City Schools (60.6%)
  1. Wilkes County Schools (+5.8%)
  2. Halifax County Schools (+5.8%)
  3. Lexington City Schools (+5.1%)
  4. Davie County Schools (+4.5%)
  5. Pamlico County Schools (+4.4%)
Large High Schools
  1. Marvin Ridge High (69.1%)
  2. Cuthbertson High (66.3%)
  3. Cox Mill High School (65.5%)
  4. Apex Friendship High (65.3%)
  5. Enloe High (65%)
  1. Freedom High  (+5.2%)
  2. Southwest Guilford High (+5.1%)
  3. Union Pines High (+4.9%)
  4. West Rowan High (+4.9%)
  5. Davie County High (+4.7%)
Medium High Schools
  1. Atkins Academic & Tech High (72.9%)
  2. Central Academy of Technology and Arts (70.2%)
  3. Durham School of the Arts (67.5%)
  4. Statesville High (62.1%)
  5. Asheville High (61.2%)
  1. West Wilkes High School (+7.6%)
  2. Red Springs High (+6%)
  3. T Wingate Andrews High (+5.9%)
  4. Lexington Senior High School (+5.1%)
  5. Eastern Randolph High School (+5%)
Small High Schools
  1. Philip J Weaver Ed Center (85.7%)
  2. Highland School of Technology (74.1%)
  3. Mountain Heritage High (65.9%)
  4. Elkin High (63.9%)
  5. Chatham Central High (62.8%)
  1. North Wilkes High School (+9.8%)
  2. West Columbus High (+8.7%)
  3. East Columbus Junior-Senior High (+6.5%)
  4. Ayden-Grifton High (+5.6%)
  5. North Rowan High (+5.6%)
X-Small High Schools
  1. Ocracoke School (100%)
  2. Phoenix Academy High School (100%)
  3. Hiwassee Dam High (85.4%)
  4. Nantahala School (83.3%)
  5. Alger B. Wilkins High School (76.2%)
  1. Alger B. Wilkins High School (+38.1%)
  2. Highlands School (+10.7%)
  3. Performance Learning Center (Concord) (+9.8%)
  4. Pressly School (+8.3%)
  5. Winston-Salem Preparatory Acad (+6.7%)
Charter High Schools
  1. Thomas Academy (87.5%)
  2. Pine Lake Preparatory (81.1%)
  3. Henderson Collegiate (79.8%)
  4. Woods Charter (77.8%)
  5. Oxford Preparatory (73.7%)
  1. Thomas Academy (+87.5%)
  2. Central Wake High School (+12.8%)
  3. Wilson Preparatory Academy (+7.3%)
  4. Bethany Community School  (+5.9%)
  5. Union Academy (Monroe) (+4.7%)


Currently, Cooperative Innovative High Schools (CIHS) are not listed in the Leaderboard for data limitation reasons. CIHS schools include an array of graduating seniors by grade level which makes it challenging to calculate the true FAFSA completion rate for these schools. NC First in FAFSA continues to work with partners to refine the data and raise awareness about its limitations. We encourage CIHS schools to use the Finish the FAFSA report on which includes the most accurate FAFSA submission and completion data.

FAFSA completion rates in the NC First in FAFSA Tracker and Leaderboard may be different from data on the Finish the FAFSA report on because data on the number of seniors who completed the FAFSA are directly from the U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid (FSA). These data represent a subset of students FSA identified as “seniors” based on how these students answered questions in their FAFSA application. For example, students who answered they have attended college before may not be identified as high school seniors in the FSA data set and therefore not captured in the Tracker.