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Plan, Apply, & Pay for College

The College Foundation of North Carolina Free Information Service

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.


Join us for this free, virtual series and learn how you can pay for college.



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.


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.


It’s never too early to start saving for college!

  • Find out how to open a North Carolina National College Savings Account (529 Plan), a tax-advantaged way to save for college

CFNC is a free service of the State of North Carolina provided by a collaboration of the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, the N.C. Community College System, the N.C. Independent Colleges and Universities and The University of North Carolina System, the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority, and College Foundation, Inc.

Residency Determination Service

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. NCSEAA is authorized to act under Article 23 of Chapter 116 of the North Carolina General Statutes as the authority.