Types of Aid

There are many ways to help fund your education—in fact, we award more than $25 million in financial aid every year. Eligible students can reduce the cost of their studies through a combination of scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study. Scholarships and grants are considered “gift aid" and require no repayment, while loans and work-study are considered "self-help aid." Regardless of the type of aid, assistance is available to both main campus and online/distance students.

General Eligibility Standards

Before applying, please note that almost all financial assistance is limited to:

  • Students who have been accepted to Lees-McRae to seek a degree
  • Students who enroll in and carry at least the normal full-time academic load (limited Federal Pell Grants are available to students with fewer than 12 hours per semester)
  • Students who maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Students who are U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens


These gifts are generally renewable and are awarded for academic, athletic, and other types of merit. More than $10 million in institutional scholarships are awarded by Lees-McRae every year.



    Academic Merit Scholarship

    Each year Lees-McRae recognizes the scholarly preparation of entering freshmen and transfer students by offering scholarships and grants based on academic performance. These offers 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 $3,000–$12,000 annually and are renewable as long as the student maintains the required academic standard.

    Athletic Scholarship

    As an NCAA Division II institution, Lees-McRae awards athletic scholarships based upon athletic performance and ability at the discretion of the coaches.

    Elizabeth McRae Scholarship

    Awarded by Lees-McRae, this scholarship 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 Scholars Day—an event in the spring that includes an interview and essay competition, with the top two performers selected as recipients. The scholarship is renewable for four years as long as the recipient(s) maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.

    Humanities Scholarship

    The Lees-McRae Humanities Scholarship is designed to assist incoming undergraduate students on the main campus planning to major in English, history, or religious studies. Two students will be selected to receive a $2,000 scholarship that is renewable as long as the student remains enrolled at Lees-McRae. The student must remain in good academic standing with a minimum 3.0 GPA and have declared a humanities major of English, history, or religious studies. The scholarship is stackable with other institutional aid. 

    Apply Now


    Presbyterian Scholarship

    The Lees-McRae Presbyterian Scholarship, valued at $2,000, is awarded to students who have been an active member of the Presbyterian Church congregation for a minimum of four years. Selected students must demonstrate participation in church and community service.

    This scholarship is renewable as long as the student remains enrolled at Lees-McRae in good academic standing with a minimum 2.5 GPA and can provide a letter from a pastor at a local Presbyterian Church indicating regular involvement with that congregation and participation in at least 20 hours of service per semester to that congregation. 

    Apply now


    Sam and Mary Hart Endowed Scholarship

    The Sam and Mary Hart Endowed Scholarship is privately funded and is awarded every other year to one incoming Lees-McRae student planning to major in a science or health sciences academic program. The selected student must exhibit leadership skills and strong moral character as evidenced by service in the community. The scholarship is renewable as long as the student remains enrolled at Lees-McRae in good academic standing with a minimum 3.0 GPA and provides demonstration of campus leadership activities. This scholarship is awarded every other year.

    Apply now


    Shelton Scholarship

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

    Qualified students must have at least a 3.75 GPA and 1150 SAT score (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 Scholarship is valued at more than $130,000 over the course of four years.

    This scholarship is awarded every four years and will be available again for the 2024–25 academic year.


    Theatre Arts Scholarships

    Available to students interested in all areas of theatre arts, scholarships range from $1,000–$5,000 and require an audition or interview. A limited number are available.

    Learn more

Outside Scholarships

Foundations, service clubs, churches, and corporations award millions of dollars in scholarships each year to worthy students. Many students receive this type of scholarship help in addition to other types of aid they may be receiving. Per federal regulations, the receipt of private scholarships may affect a financial aid offer. It is the student's responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid of all private scholarships received so that it may be determined if these funds have an effect on other resources offered.


This is free money or “gift aid” from a variety of sources that does not have to be paid back. Typically these are awarded based on demonstrated financial need.


Institutional Grants (Applies only to main campus students)

Lees-McRae Legacy Grant
The Legacy Grant is available to students whose parents or grandparents are Lees-McRae graduates. The annual award amount is $1,000. The grant is renewable for four years as long as the student is making satisfactory academic progress as defined by the college catalog.

Local County Grant
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), McDowell, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey—and who enroll at Lees-McRae as a freshman on the main campus will receive a $1,000 grant. The grant is stackable with other academic merit, performance-based merit, or need-based grants. The grant may be renewable for up to four years as long as the student maintains the required academic standard.

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

North Carolina Grants

Need-based Scholarship Program
The North Carolina General Assembly funds the North Carolina Need-based Scholarship (NBS) Program. The NBS program is to assist needy undergraduate North Carolinians, with need based on the Federal Methodology calculation of Expected Family Contribution (EFC). To apply, file the FAFSA and include the Lees-McRae school code of 002939. Annual awards vary depending on the student's EFC and available funding. For additional information on North Carolina grants and scholarships, visit the College Foundation of North Carolina website.  

Eligible students must be determined a resident of North Carolina via Residency Determination Service (RDS) before North Carolina need-based scholarships can be certified and disbursed. 

North Carolina Residency Determination Service Info

Federal Grants

Federal Pell Grants 
These grants provide offers up to $7,395 per year. The actual amount the student receives depends on the Expected Family Contribution (which is determined by completing the FAFSA, 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
Students showing exceptional financial need are eligible for these grants. Students receiving Federal Pell Grants are given priority. Awards vary from $200 to a maximum of $4,000 per year, depending upon funds available and the need of students concerned.


Direct loans support educational goals, but do have to be paid back at low fixed interest rates upon graduation. Students and/or their parents can take out a loan. 


Loans for Students

Lees-McRae participates in the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program. 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 Lees-McRae College Direct Loan ID number is G02939.

The William D. Ford Direct Loan Program includes 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. 
  • 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. 

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 at studentaid.gov. Loan funds will not be credited to the student's account until these items are completed.


    Loan Limits

    The maximum amount the student can borrow each year in subsidized and unsubsidized loans depends on the student's grade level and on whether they are a dependent student or an independent student. The following table shows the maximum amount of money the student may borrow each academic year in subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

    Dependent Student
    Subsidized amount listed in parentheses.

    • First-year undergraduate: $5,500 ($3,500)
    • Second-year undergraduate: $6,500 ($4,500)
    • Third and fourth-year undergraduate: $7,500 ($5,500)

    Independent Student
    Subsidized amount listed in parentheses.

    • First-year undergraduate: $9,500 ($3,500)
    • Second-year undergraduate: $10,500 ($4,500)
    • Third and fourth-year undergraduate: $12,500 ($5,500)

    The actual loan amount the student is eligible to receive for an academic year is determined by Lees-McRae 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)

    Entrance Counseling

    The student must complete entrance counseling before the Office of Financial Aid can originate the loan and make the first disbursement. This helps the student understand their responsibilities regarding the loan. Entrance counseling can be completed  at studentaid.gov.

    Master Promissory Note

    To borrow from the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program, a Master Promissory Note (MPN) must be completed online at studentaid.gov. The MPN is a legal document in which the student promises to repay the loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the United States Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of the loan(s).

    To complete an MPN online, the student will be required to use their FSA ID, which can be created at www.fsaid.ed.gov. In most cases, once the MPN has been submitted and accepted, the student won't have to fill out a new MPN for future loans. Additional direct loans can be borrowed on a single MPN for up to 10 years.

    The student will receive a disclosure statement that gives specific information about any loan that the school plans to disburse under the MPN, including the loan amount, fees, and the expected disbursement dates and amounts.

How Loans are Disbursed (Paid Out)
Generally, loans will cover a full academic year and Lees-McRae will make at least two disbursements to the student. For example, disbursements will be made at the beginning of each semester.

The Office of Financial Aid will disburse the student's loan money by crediting it to the student account to be paid towards tuition and fees, room and board, and other authorized charges. If the loan disbursement amount exceeds school charges, we will pay the student the remaining balance of the disbursement directly by check or other means. We will notify the student in writing each time we disburse part of the loan money and will provide information about how to cancel all or part of the disbursement if the student finds they no longer need the money. The student will also receive a notice from the direct loan program confirming the disbursement. All correspondence received concerning your loan should be read and kept.

Using Loans for Education Expenses
The student may use the loan money received only to pay for education expenses at Lees-McRae. 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 offer by the respond date.
  2. Complete required entrance counseling.
  3. Complete your MPN using your FSA ID. The Lees-McRae Direct Loan ID number is G02939.

Loans for Parents

Direct PLUS Loans for Parents, offered through the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program, 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.

All parent borrowers must complete the PLUS application and MPN at studentaid.gov along with an institution PLUS loan application.


    Parent Eligibility Requirements

    To be eligible for the Direct PLUS Loan for parents, the borrower 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. The parent's child must be a dependent student who is enrolled at least part-time. For financial aid purposes, a student is considered "dependent" if he or she is under the age of 24, unmarried, and has no legal dependents at the time the FAFSA is submitted.

    Parent PLUS loan borrowers cannot have an adverse credit history (a credit check will be done). In addition, parents and their dependent 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 PLUS Loan for the first time, the parent must complete the PLUS application and master promissory note (MPN). The MPN is a legal document in which the borrower promises to repay the loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the United Staes Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of the loan(s).

    Complete a MPN at studentaid.gov. If borrowing Direct PLUS Loans for more than one student, the parent will need to complete a separate MPN for each one. To complete an MPN online, it is required to use an FSA ID, which can be created at studentaid.gov/fsa-id.

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



    Credit Check and Endorser Alternative

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

  1. Complete, sign, and return one copy of your student’s financial aid offer by the respond date.
  2. Indicate the PLUS Loan amount that you are interested in borrowing in the "PLUS Amount Requested" box. You may borrow the amount printed on the offer or a lesser amount. Return the completed Lees-McRae PLUS Loan Request form to the Office of Financial Aid.
  3. Complete your MPN at studentaid.gov and sign in using your ED-issued PIN. The Lees-McRae College Direct Loan ID number is G02939.


Students with financial need can be eligible for part-time jobs on campus—usually related to service or their academic program—to earn money during their educational pursuits.


The federal work-study program provides jobs for undergraduates who have demonstrated financial need as determined from the results of the FAFSA and availability of funding. Federal work-study eligibility will be listed as a separate item on the financial aid offer. The work-study program is designed to help eligible students meet the costs of obtaining a higher education. View open work-study positions

Veterans Affairs Education Benefits

Veterans, current service members, and their qualified family members may receive assistance paying for college through Veterans Affairs Education Benefits.



    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 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 amd apprenticeship/on-the-job training. Spouses may take a correspondence course.

    Chapter 1606: Montgomery GI Bill® – Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
    The MGIB-SR program may be available to members 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
    The REAP program offers benefits for members 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 to those who first entered active duty between January 1, 1977 and June 30, 1985 and elected to make contributions from their military pay to participate in this education benefit program. 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 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 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. Click here for a breakdown of tuition, fees, housing allowance, and book stipend based on a soldier's service and subsequent eligibility for Post 9/11 GI Benefits.

    As all Lees-McRae institutional aid is designated for the sole purpose of reducing a student’s tuition and fees, it must be deducted from the net in-state charges reported to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Any outside scholarship funding that is specifically designated for tuition and fees must also be deducted.


    Receiving and Continuing VA Benefits

    Apply online for VA Education Benefits. Documents required to apply for initial or continuing VA benefits can also be printed here. After submitting an application, bring a copy of the application to the Certifying Official in the Office of the Registrar.  

    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. If benefits were transferred to you from your parent or spouse who was or is in the military, complete application (22-1990e). Submit your Certificate of Eligibility to the Office of the Registrar.
      Lees-McRae has elected to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program as part of the Post-9/11 Veterans Assistance Act of 2008. In order to be considered for this program, a student receiving veteran’s educational benefits must have reached the private college VA cap of $24,476.79. Apply for the Yellow Ribbon Program

    Transferring VA Benefits from Another Institution

    • 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 form (22-5495).

    Continuing VA Benefits for Current Lees-McRae Students

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


    Maintaining Academic Satisfactory Progress

    A student receiving VA benefits should understand Lees-McRae's policy regarding satisfactory progress and academic probation (found in the college catalog). A student placed on probation has a maximum of one semester to return to good standing. Failure to return to good standing 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 with the college, or 2) Submit a request for resumption of VA Educational Benefits, claiming mitigating circumstances, and have benefits reinstated by the VA 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 the VA by calling 1.800.827.1000 or 1.888.442.4551 (1.888.GIBILL1). This ensures that you receive your benefits check at the correct address.

    Tuition Assistance

    Military Tuition Assistance is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Congress has given each service the ability to pay up to 100% for the tuition expenses of its members.

    Each service has its own criteria for eligibility, obligated service, application process, and restrictions. This money is usually paid directly to the institution by the individual services.

    Click on a link below for the program regulations and the application process for each service:

    Air Force Tuition Assistance
    Army Tuition Assistance
    Navy Tuition Assistance
    Marine Corp Tuition Assistance
    Coast Guard Tuition Assistance
    National Guard Tuition Assistance
    Reserve Tuition Assistance

    Undergraduate Full-time Tuition Rates
    Main Campus = $871.33 per semester hour, in-state/out-of-state
    Distance Learning/Online = $350 per semester hour

    Part-time Tuition Rates
    $752 per semester hour

    Room and Board
    $11,470 per year

    $550 per year

    Master's Degree Tuition
    $500 per semester hour, full-time and part-time

Click here for help identifying unfair recruiting practices, credit transfer, or change in degree requirements. For questions concerning veterans benefits, contact Lynn Hinshaw, certifying official, at 828.898.3473 or hinshaw@lmc.edu.

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.