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 August data does not reflect final results.

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 August 31, 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 August 2021 to July 2021
and listing % point change)
  1. Elkin City Schools (71.1%)
  2. Yancey County Schools (70.4%)
  3. Asheville City Schools (70.1%)
  4. Weldon City Schools (69.5%)
  5. Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools (67.1%)
  1. Tyrell County Schools (+9.0%)
  2. Pamlico County Schools (+8.8%)
  3. Beaufort County Schools (+8.4%)
  4. Caswell County Schools (+7.5%)
  5. Carteret County Schools (+7.2%)
Large High Schools
  1. Ronald W Reagan High (74.3%)
  2. Cox Mill High (74.1%)
  3. Marvin Ridge High (72.8%)
  4. Cuthbertson High (71.8%)
  5. Apex Friendship High (71.0%)
  1. New Hanover High  (+8.4%)
  2. South Central High (+8.3%)
  3. North Henderson High (+7.6%)
  4. West Henderson High (+7.4%)
  5. Charles B Aycock High (+7.4%)
Medium High Schools
  1. Atkins Academic & Tech High (81.2%)
  2. Durham School of the Arts (76.5%)
  3. Central Academy of Technology and Arts (75.8%)
  4. Asheville High (72.7%)
  5. Statesville High (66.8%)
  1. Washington High (Beaufort Co) (+8.7%)
  2. Shelby High (+8.7%)
  3. Nash Central High (+8.5%)
  4. West Carteret High (+8.4%)
  5. Red Springs High (+7.6%)
Small High Schools
  1. Philip J Weaver Ed Center (89.2%)
  2. Highland School of Technology (80.0%)
  3. Northwest School of the Arts (72.5%)
  4. Tarboro High (71.2%)
  5. Elkin High (71.1%)
  1. Northside High (Pinetown) (+12.3%)
  2. West Columbus High (+9.7%)
  3. Kinston High (+9.5%)
  4. Pamlico County High (+8.8%)
  5. Anson High (+8.1%)
X-Small High Schools
  1. Alger B. Wilkins High (100%)
  2. Davidson County High (100%)
  3. Central Haywood High (100%)
  4. Ocracoke School (100%)
  5. Montgomery Learning Academy (100%)
  6. Partnership Acad (Orange Co) (100%)
  7. Phoenix Academy High (100%)
  8. Davidson River School (100%)
  1. Tar River Academy  (+71.4%)
  2. Hallyburton Academy (+45.4%)
  3. Granville Academy (+30%)
  4. B C Ed Tech Center (+23.8%)
  5. Montgomery Learning Academy (+20%)
Charter High Schools
  1. Thomas Academy (100%)
  2. Pine Lake Preparatory (86.1%)
  3. Woods Charter (80.0%)
  4. Henderson Collegiate (79.7%)
  5. Gray Stone Day (79.5%)
  1. Carter G. Woodson School (+45.4%)
  2. Thomas Academy (+12.5%)
  3. Bear Grass Charter School (+9.2%)
  4. Bethany Community School  (+8.8%)
  5. Piedmont Classical High School (+8.6%)


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.