College access event set for October

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 23, 2018

RALEIGH This year, North Carolina’s annual college access event has been renamed the “N.C. Countdown to College” and will take place in October. This event is geared toward high school seniors to aid them in completing three important college enrollment steps:

  1. Establishing in-state residency through the Residency Determination Service (RDS).
  2. Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to qualify for financial aid.
  3. Submitting college applications.

In order to be eligible for in-state tuition, state grants and certain financial aid, students must provide proof of North Carolina residency. Last year, the state implemented RDS as a centralized method of establishing residency, rather than having each college or university make its own determination. Students should visit to complete their residency determination.

Completing the FAFSA is equally important. The FAFSA gives students access to need-based federal and state financial aid. In addition to determining eligibility for federal and state aid, the information on the FAFSA is often used by N.C. colleges to award certain need-based scholarships and other institutional financial aid.

Supporting students in submitting college applications is the final piece of N.C. Countdown to College and is highlighted during “college application week.” This year’s renowned college application week will take place Oct. 15 – 19. As in years past, many N.C. colleges and universities elect to waive their application fees for applications submitted on during this period. During this week, counselors, support staff and qualified volunteers will help students at hundreds of N.C. high schools submit online college applications through College Foundation of North Carolina’s (CFNC) application hub.

“We are looking forward to Countdown to College,” says Tenika McMillan, Countdown to College coordinator. “Our annual college access events have been tremendously successful in years past, and this year is shaping up to be our best event yet. This October students will be able to get the help they need to successfully start down the path to higher education.”

Students interested in participating in N.C. Countdown to College, should first make a profile with College Foundation of North Carolina. CFNC assists students and families as they plan, apply and pay for college. To access additional resources and information, learn more about CFNC and prepare for N.C. Countdown to College, visit