Planning for College

Plan, apply and pay for college through CFNC.

Whether you’re a student, a parent, or a school counselor, the College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) is your one-stop resource for information about attending college in North Carolina. This is a free service provided by the state of North Carolina to increase access to higher education.



Take the first step. Tools and resources will help you plan for high school, college, and careers:

  • Choose and plan your high school courses
  • Learn how to earn college credits while still in high school
  • Use savings and budgeting calculators to help with financial planning
  • Explore college programs and majors
  • Use the interactive College Search tool to get information on North Carolina colleges, including costs and admission requirements


When you’re ready, find all the information you need to apply to college and request financial aid.

The Residency Determination Service (RDS) was established in coordination with the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA), the University of North Carolina (UNC), the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS), and the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) as the centralized service for determining residency for tuition. This service enables students to use one residency determination for determining tuition and eligibility for state financial aid programs at public and private institutions of higher learning in North Carolina.



Learn about the types of financial aid and savings tools available to help you pay for college, including federal and state grants, scholarships, loans, and work study.


Questions about how to pay for school? 

The Financial Aid Office is the place to go for answers. At the Financial Aid Office, you can:

  • Explore your student aid options.
  • Learn about campus-specific aid programs.
  • Get advice on borrowing.
  • Get help completing the FAFSA® (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
  • Find out the deadlines for student aid.
  • Obtain any aid forms you need.
  • Find money management guidance.
  • Look for on- or off-campus jobs.


The Financial Aid Office serves as your advocate. They want to help you avoid any money matters that may prevent you from achieving your educational goals.

Contact a Financial Aid Office at a school near you. You do not have to be attending a campus to receive financial aid assistance.


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