Financial Aid + Scholarships

Apply for Crosby Scholars Last Dollar Grant NOW

The Crosby Scholars Last Dollar Grant application is now open in the Student Portal for the graduating class of 2023 and Crosby Scholars in college. Class of 2024 will have an opportunity to apply for Last Dollar Grant in May 2024.  Class of 2023 graduates must apply in their Crosby Scholars Student Portal - Not the Parent Portal - and should submit their applications as soon as possible.

For more information, review our Last Dollar Grant page.

Have Financial Aid Questions? Schedule a Virtual Meeting with the Financial Aid Team!

Click HERE to schedule a virtual meeting with our Assistant Director of Financial Aid + Advising, Ashly Wilson, to discuss any Financial Aid questions or concerns.

Smart Money Moves: Scholarships & Financial Aid Newsletter

Smart Money Moves is your monthly guide to scholarships and Financial Aid information.

2023-2024 Crosby Scholarship Opportunities

All Crosby Scholars Scholarships for the Class of 2023 have closed as of May 1st, 2023.  Crosby Scholarships for the Class of 2024 will be announced this fall.  Please look for an updated Scholarship Handbook & Pathways which will also be released this fall.

Questions about scholarships? Contact the Financial Aid Team at

Outside or Institutional Scholarships

Need ideas on how to find scholarship opportunities?  Look at our Local, National & Regional Scholarships Database (coming in October 2023)

Institutional Scholarships are those offered by a specific college or university.  Typically, these scholarship opportunities are listed on each schools Financial Aid web page.  Students can begin by researching institutional scholarships offered at the colleges where they plan to apply. The financial aid web page of every college lists scholarships unique to their school and the qualifications necessary for consideration. Students applying to schools in other states can easily locate this information on their web pages.

Every high school in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools System has a school counselor designated to serve as the scholarship coordinator.  Seniors should make sure they know who is in charge of scholarships and how to access their high school's scholarship newsletter.  High schools provide information on local scholarships, such as those awarded by the Winston-Salem Foundation, as well as opportunities on a national scale, such as QuestBridge National College Match and Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

College Board Opportunity ScholarshipsTurn your Efforts into Scholarships!  The College Board has launched a new scholarship program with $5 million of scholarships each year.

Financial Aid Resources for Undocumented and DACA Students

There are local, national, and regional resources for students who are unable to access Federal financial aid due to citizenship.  Find starting tips here with our Toolkit.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The first step to applying for financial aid is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA.  The 2024-25 FAFSA opens for applications beginning in December 2023. There are several FAFSA priority deadlines that you need to be aware of (the deadline for your state, a federal deadline, and an institutional deadline -- see below for more info on school specific deadlines.) North Carolina's state priority deadline for Financial Aid is as soon as possible after December 2023.

Remember, there are College Financial Aid Deadlines, State Financial Aid Deadlines, and a Federal Financial Aid Deadline. Meet these deadlines to ensure access to the most Financial Aid possible. 

College costs vary widely, and the sticker price at some schools discourages students from applying, because they are convinced they cannot afford to attend. However, the only way to discover the true cost of attendance is to submit the FAFSA and review the school's financial aid package upon receipt. Private colleges with large price tags frequently provide merit aid that makes their overall cost comparable to, or in some instances, more affordable than, public universities.

Outside scholarships can further reduce the cost, depending on how they are factored into the aid package. Students should ALWAYS check with the financial aid office to determine how private scholarship funds will affect other aid they were offered. Ultimately, students and families are best served by waiting until they are able to compare all financial aid packages before deciding which college or university is the best choice financially.

Federal Student Loans are a common option for funding your College education.  Find out everything parents and students need to know about Federal Student Loan borrowing with CFNC's Smart Loan Borrowing Guide. 

How to Ask for More Financial Aid Due to Special or Unusual Circumstances

Has your family been financially affected by special or unusual circumstances that impacts your ability to pay for college?  If so, you should think about writing an appeal letter to your colleges Financial Aid office to ensure that you are being offered as much funding as possible.  How do you request a change to your Financial Aid package? SwiftStudent will help you write a financial aid appeal letter for free.

CSS Profile

While all colleges require the FAFSA, some schools also require the CSS PROFILE. Unlike the FAFSA, the CSS PROFILE costs $25 for the first application and $16 for each additional application submitted. Make sure that your school requires the CSS PROFILE before filling it out.

Additional CSS Profile Resources: 

1. Getting Started: A CSS Profile Tutorial

2. Need guidance on how to report your Parents on the CSS Profile? Reporting Parents: A Guide

3.  What if you have a unique family situation? Completing the CSS Profile as the NON CUSTODIAL Parent

For more information on how to complete the CSS / Financial Aid Profile, including a list of colleges, visit BigFuture College Board.

Helpful Links

Need help comparing your Financial Aid Award Letters? Check out this Compare your Aid Award tool from College Board & Big Future.

CFNC: Choosing the Right Loan Worksheet
CFNC: Borrowing Wisely Worksheet
Understanding your Responsibility when Borrowing Student Loans