Types of Scholarships & Financial AidTypes of Scholarships & Financial Aid

Types of Scholarships & Financial Aid

Financial aid is federal, state institutional and private fund(s) used to assist eligible students in funding their education. Financial aid can be a combination of scholarships, grants, loans and work study. Scholarships and grants are considered "gift aid" and require no repayment; loans and work study are considered "self-help aid." Most loans require repayment when a student becomes enrolled less than half time or graduates. Work-study is need based and includes part-time employment on campus.

The College reserves the right to review, adjust, or cancel financial aid awards at any time due to changes in financial need, new aid received after you have been initially awarded, state residency, dependency, marital or academic status, or failure to comply with state, federal and institutional regulations. The College may prorate, adjust or revise your award in accordance with federal, state or institutional policy.


Click the links below to learn about different types of scholarships and financial aid:

1. Federal Grants

2. North Carolina Grants

3. LMC Institutional Scholarships/Grants

4. Local Scholarships

5. Private Scholarships

6. Work-Study

7. Direct Loans

8. Direct Loans | Students

9. PLUS Loans | Parents

10. Veterans Benefits

11. Additional Resources


Federal Grants

Several grants are available from the federal government to defray the costs of college education. Unlike a loan, a grant is aid you do not have to repay.

Federal Pell Grants provide awards from $555 to $5,550 per year. The actual amount you receive depends on your estimated family contribution (which is determined by completing the FAFSA form, your enrollment status as a student and the availability of funds allocated by Congress.

To learn more about Pell Grants, visit the Federal Student Aid Website

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants are for students showing exceptional financial need. Students receiving Federal Pell Grants are given priority. Awards vary from $200 to a maximum of $2,000 per year, depending upon funds available and the need of students concerned.

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North Carolina Grants

North Carolina Need-Based Scholarship Program
The N.C. General Assembly funds the North Carolina Need-based Scholarship Program. The NBS is to assist needy undergraduate North Carolinians, with need based on the Federal Methodology calculation of Expected Family Contribution (EFC). To apply, file the 2013-14 FAFSA and include the LMC school code of 002939. Annual awards vary depending on your EFC and available funding.

For additional information on North Carolina grants and scholarships, please visit the College Foundation of North Carolina

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Lees-McRae College Institutional Scholarships/Grants

Shelton Scholars Program
Named in honor of Ed and Dotti Shelton for their generous and humble leadership, guidance and support of Lees-McRae College, the Shelton Scholars Program will be the highest honor bestowed upon entering freshmen. This prestigious award will provide full tuition, room and board to one student selected during Scholars Day.

Qualified students must have at least a 3.75 GPA and 1150 SAT (or ACT equivalent) at the time of admission to the College and agree to be an active member of the Honors Program. All students who meet these criteria will be invited to participate in Scholars Day and will have the opportunity to compete for this award through a variety of interviews and essays. The Shelton Scholars Award is valued at over $130,000 over the course of four years.

This scholarship is awarded every four years and will be available again in 2017.

Elizabeth McRae Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded by Lees-McRae College and covers full tuition for a full-time student. Two scholarships are available for freshmen entering the College in the fall semester. Recipients are chosen from all students invited to attend Scholar’s Day. Scholar's Day includes interview and essay competition with the top two performers selected as recipients. The scholarship covers tuition and is renewable for four years as long as the recipient(s) maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Academic Merit Scholarships
Each year Lees-McRae College recognizes the scholarly preparation of entering freshmen and transfer students by awarding scholarships and grants based on academic performance. These awards reflect our commitment to helping students set ambitious goals and achieve them. All students are automatically considered for academic scholarships once they are granted admission to the College. Scholarship awards are based only on official transcripts and test scores. No additional scholarship application is required. Academic merit scholarships range from $3000.00 to $10,000.00 annually and are renewable as long as the student maintains the required academic standard.

Athletic Scholarships
As an NCAA Division II college, Lees-McRae awards athletic scholarships. These scholarships are awarded at the coaches' discretion based upon athletic performance and ability.

Performing Arts Scholarships
A limited number of Performing Arts Scholarships are awarded by the Performing Arts Department and require an audition.
Click here for more information.

Institutional Need Based Grant
Need-based aid is awarded to students based on financial need and varies in amount. In order to be eligible for need-based aid, the student must show demonstrated financial need by filing the FAFSA annually. Depending upon your calculated need in subsequent years, your aid award may vary. Certain federal, state and institutional awards are taken into consideration when determining need-based grant levels.

Phi Theta Kappa Transfer Scholarship
Awarded to any Phi Theta Kappa transfer student in good standing who has an overall 3.25 GPA and enrolls in a program of study on the main campus. Apply by submitting a letter to the Director of Financial Aid. A letter from the PTK chapter advisor verifying that the student is a member in good standing is also required. PTK scholarships are $2500.00 annually and are renewable as long as the student maintains a 3.25 cumulative GPA at Lees-McRae College.

HOSA Scholarship
This scholarship will be awarded to an active HOSA member from a North Carolina high school. To apply, click here.

If you are having trouble viewing the application, please try loading it in a different browser.

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Local Scholarships

In celebration of opportunities for Appalachian students, seniors who graduate from a high school in one of the following counties: Avery, Alleghany, Ashe, Burke, Caldwell, Carter (TN), Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey, apply and are admitted to Lees-McRae and enroll in a program of study on the main campus will receive a $1,000 grant that is stackable with other academic merit, performance or need based scholarships. Scholarships may be renewable for up to four years as long as the student maintains the required academic standard.

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Private Outside Scholarships

Foundations, service clubs, churches, and corporations award millions of dollars in scholarships each year to worthy students. Many Lees-McRae students receive this type of scholarship help in addition to other types of aid they may be receiving. Students generally seek these scholarships on their own. A good place to start is by asking your high school guidance office about community and other scholarships with which they may be familiar. Then ask about the availability of scholarships at places where family members are employed, through your church, and through any organizations to which family members belong. Finally, go to the public library for guidebooks to scholarships from foundations, corporations and government agencies, or search the Internet for similar information.

Per federal regulations the receipt of private scholarships may affect a financial aid package. It is the student's responsibility to notify the Lees-McRae Office of Financial Aid of all private scholarships received so that it may be determined if these funds have an effect on other resources awarded.

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Work-study

The federal work study program provides jobs for undergraduates who have demonstrated financial need as determined from the results of the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and availability of funding. Federal work study awards will be listed as a separate item on the financial aid award. The work study program is designed to help eligible students meet the costs of obtaining a higher education.

To view open work-study positions, please visit the work-study page

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William D. Ford Direct Loans

Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student's education after high school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education (the Department), though the entity you deal with, your loan servicer, can be a private business. The William D. Ford Direct Loan Program includes the following types of loans:

  • Subsidized: for students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time, during the grace period, and during deferment periods. The interest rate for subsidized loans disbursed after July 1, 2011 will be 3.4%.
  • Unsubsidized: not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods. The interest rate for unsubsidized loans is 6.8%.
  • PLUS: unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students and for graduate/professional students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods. PLUS loans are based on credit worthiness and require a credit check. The interest rate for PLUS loans is 7.9%.

ALL students borrowing from the Federal Direct Loan Program are required to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and complete Entrance Counseling for their Direct Loan on the Federal Student Aid Website Loan funds will not be credited to your student account until these items are completed.

ALL parent borrowers must complete the PLUS application and MPN on the Federal Student Aid Website along with an institution PLUS loan application.

Loan Limits
The maximum amount you can borrow each year in Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans depends on your grade level and on whether you are a dependent student or an independent student. The following table shows the maximum amount of money you may borrow each academic year in Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans.

Dependent student Independent student
1st-year undergraduate $5,500 (maximum $3,500 subsidized) $9,500 ($3,500)
2nd-year undergraduate $6,500 ($4,500) $10,500 ($4,500)
3rd- and 4th-year undergraduate $7,500 ($5,500) $12,500 ($5,500)

The actual loan amount you are eligible to receive for an academic year is determined by your school and may be less than the maximum annual amounts shown in the chart above.

Below are the aggregate (total) limits for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans:

  • $31,000 for dependent undergraduate students excluding those whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS Loan (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized)
  • $57,500 for independent undergraduate students and dependent undergraduates whose parents are unable to borrow a PLUS loan (no more than $23,000 may be subsidized)
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Direct Loans for Students

Lees-McRae College participates in the William D. Ford Direct Loan program. Student and parent borrowers receive funding for their student loans directly from the U.S. Department of Education. The Lees-McRae College Direct Loan ID number is G02939.

The Direct Loan Program Offers the Following Types of Loans for Students:

  • Subsidized: for students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time, during the grace period, and during deferment periods. The interest rate for new loans first disbursed after July 1, 2011 is 3.4% fixed.
  • Unsubsidized: not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods. The interest rate for new loans first disbursed after July 1, 2011 is 6.8% fixed.

Loan Limits

The maximum amount you can borrow each year in Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans depends on your grade level and on whether you are a dependent student or an independent student.

Entrance Counseling

You must complete entrance counseling before we can originate your loan and make the first disbursement of your loan. This helps you to understand your responsibilities regarding your loan. Complete your entrance counseling on the Federal Student Aid Website

The Master Promissory Note

To borrow from the Direct Loan program, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN must be completed online via the Federal Student Aid Website The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the Department. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s).

To complete an MPN online, you will be required to use your Department of Education-issued PIN. If you do not have a PIN, you may request one from the Federal Student Aid Pin Website. In most cases, once you've submitted the MPN and it's been accepted, you won't have to fill out a new MPN for future loans you receive. You can borrow additional Direct Loans on a single MPN for up to 10 years.

You'll receive a disclosure statement that gives you specific information about any loan that the school plans to disburse under your MPN, including the loan amount, fees, and the expected disbursement dates and amounts.

How Loans are Disbursed (paid out)

Generally, your loan will cover a full academic year and we will make at least two disbursements to you, for example, at the beginning of each semester or quarter, or at the beginning and midpoint of your academic year.

Lees-McRae College will disburse your loan money by crediting it to your student account to pay (tuition and fees, room and board, and other authorized charges). If the loan disbursement amount exceeds your school charges, we will pay you the remaining balance of the disbursement directly by check or other means. We will notify you in writing each time we disburse part of your loan money and will provide information about how to cancel all or part of your disbursement if you find you no longer need the money. You will also receive a notice from DL confirming the disbursement. You should read and keep all correspondence received concerning your loan.

Using Loans for Education Expenses

You may use the loan money you receive only to pay for your education expenses at Lees-McRae College. Education expenses include school charges such as tuition, room and board, fees and indirect expenses such as books, supplies, equipment, dependent child care expenses, transportation and rental or purchase of a personal computer.

Next Steps

  1. Complete, sign and return one copy of your Financial Aid Award Letter by the respond date.
  2. Complete required Entrance Counseling
  3. Complete your E-MPN using your DOE issued PIN. The Lees-McRae College Direct Loan ID number is G02939.

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Direct PLUS Loans for Parents

Lees-McRae College participates in the William D. Ford Direct Loan program. Student and parent borrowers receive funding for their student loans directly from the U.S. Department of Education. The Lees-McRae College Direct Loan ID number is G02939.

 Direct PLUS Loans for Parents are unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent undergraduate students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods. The DL PLUS interest rate is 7.9% fixed.

Parent Eligibility Requirements for a Direct PLUS Loan

You must be the student's biological or adoptive parent or the student's stepparent, if the biological or adoptive parent has remarried at the time of application. Your child must be a dependent student who is enrolled at least half-time at a school that participates in the Direct Loan Program. For financial aid purposes, a student is considered "dependent" if he or she is under 24, unmarried, and has no legal dependents at the time the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is submitted.

Parent PLUS loan borrowers cannot have an adverse credit history (a credit check will be done). In addition, parents and their dependent child must be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens, must not be in default on any federal education loans or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant, and must meet other general eligibility requirements for the Federal Student Aid programs.

To take out a Direct Loan for the first time, you must complete a PLUS Application and master promissory note (MPN). The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the Department. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s).

Complete your E-MPN on the Federal Student Aid Website If you are borrowing Direct PLUS Loans for more than one student, you'll need to complete a separate MPN for each one. To complete an MPN online, you will be required to use your Department of Education-issued PIN (not your child's). If you do not have a PIN, you may request one from the Federal Student Aid PIN Website

In most cases, once you've submitted the MPN and it's been accepted, you won't have to fill out a new MPN for future loans you receive to pay for the educational expenses of the same student. You'll receive a disclosure statement that gives you specific information about any loan that the school plans to disburse under your MPN, including the loan amount and loan fees, and the expected loan disbursement dates and amounts.

Credit Check & Endorser Alternative

When you apply for a Direct PLUS Loan, the Department will check your credit history. To be eligible for a PLUS Loan, you must not have an adverse credit history. If you are found to have an adverse credit history, you may still borrow a PLUS Loan if you get an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if you do not repay the loan. The endorser may not be the student on whose behalf a parent obtains a Direct PLUS Loan. In some cases, you may also be able to obtain a Direct PLUS Loan if you document to our satisfaction that there are extenuating circumstances related to your adverse credit history.

If a PLUS Loan is denied for credit reasons, the student will have eligibility for an additional unsubsidized loan amount.

Next Steps

  • Complete, sign, and return the Financial Aid Award Letter to Lees-McRae College by the respond date.
  • Indicate the PLUS loan amount that you are interested in borrowing in the "PLUS Amount Requested" box. You may borrow the amount awarded and printed on the award letter or a lesser amount. Return the completed Lees-McRae College PLUS Loan Request form to the Lees-McRae College Office of Financial Aid.
  • Complete your E-MPN on the Federal Student Aid Website and sign in using your DOE-issued PIN. The Lees-McRae College Direct Loan ID number is G02939.

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Veterans Affairs Educational Benefits

For questions concerning veterans benefits, contact Kathy Henson, Certifying Official, at 828-898-8856 or hensonk@lmc.edu.

Types of Benefits

Chapter 30 - Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty (MGIB) | The MGIB program provides up to 36 months of education benefits. This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following your release from active duty.

Chapter 35 - Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program (DEA) | DEA provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition, or who died while on active duty or as a result of a service related condition. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training. If you are a spouse, you may take a correspondence course.

Chapter 1606 - Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) | The MGIB-SR program may be available to you if you are a member of the Selected Reserve. The Selected Reserve includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve, and the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses.

Chapter 1607 - Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) Benefits | Member of a reserve component who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001 under title 10 U.S. Code for a contingency operation (in response to war or national emergency) and who served at least 90 consecutive days or more.

Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) | VEAP is available if you first entered active duty between January 1, 1977 and June 30, 1985 and you elected to make contributions from your military pay to participate in this education benefit program. Your contributions are matched on a $2 for $1 basis by the Government. This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses.

Chapter 31 - Vocational Rehabilitation | The Vocational Rehabilitation program is for service-disabled veterans who require further education to attain suitable, stable employment. This program may provide vocational and other training services and assistance including tutorial assistance, tuition, books, fees, supplies, handling charges, licensing fees and equipment and other training materials necessary.

Chapter 33 - Post 9/11 GI Bill | The Post 9/11 GI Bill is a new education benefit program for service members and veterans who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001. Benefits are payable for training pursued on or after August 1, 2009. No payments can be made under this program for training pursued before that date.

Receiving / Continuing VA Benefits

Documents required to apply for initial or continuing VA educational benefits can be printed here. Forms can also be picked up in the Office of Registration and Records. Go here to apply online for your VA benefits. After you submit your application electronically, bring a copy of the application to the Certifying Official at Lees-McRae College.

Using VA Benefits for the First Time

  • Chapter 30: Complete an Application for VA Education Benefits (22-1990)and submit copies of all DD-214 forms.
  • Chapter 35: Complete an Application for Survivors & Dependents' Educational Assistance (22-5490).
  • Chapter 33: Complete an Application for VA Education Benefits (22-1990) if you were in the military and are planning to receive Post 9/11 benefits. Submit your Certificate of Eligibility to the Office of Registration and Records.

    Complete Application (22-1990e) if benefits were transferred to you from your parent, who was or is in the military. Submit your Certificate of Eligibility to the Office of Registration and Records.

Using VA Benefits for the First Time at Lees-McRae (Used VA benefits at another school)

  • Chapter 30: Complete a Change of Program or Place of Training form (22-1995) and submit copies of all DD-214 forms.
  • Chapter 35: Complete a Change of Program or Place of Training for (22-5495).

Continuing Lees-McRae VA Students

You will automatically be certified at the beginning of each semester after you register for classes.

Necessary Forms

Form 22-1990

Form 22-1990e

Form 22-1995

Form 22-5495

2014-15 Yellow Ribbon Program Application

Maintaining Academic Satisfactory Progress

A student receiving VA benefits should understand Lees-McRae College's policy regarding satisfactory progress and academic probation (found in the College Catalog). A VA student placed on probation has a maximum of one semester to return to good standing. Failure to return to good standing within one semester will make the student ineligible for VA educational benefits.

The student may regain his/her eligibility for VA benefits for future terms under one of two conditions: 1) Return to good standing in the College, or (2) ) Request for resumption of VA educational benefits is submitted to the VA claiming mitigating circumstances and the VA reinstates benefits based on evidence supporting the student's claim.

Reporting Change of Address

Should your address change during the course of the academic year, please notify VA by calling: 1-800-827-1000 or 1-888-442-4551 (1-888-GIBILL1). This insures that you receive your benefits check at the correct address.

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Additional Resources

To view other scholarship and financial aid opportunities, visit our Additional Resources

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