2023-24 SCHOLARSHIP FAQS

shift_ed scholarships are designed to assist in the process of paying for college. shift_ed scholarship dollars are strictly to be applied as last dollar tuition payments and therefore are not designed to cover the total cost of attendance for postsecondary education.

Scholarship Registration

Current shift_ed scholars can update their scholarship portal at anytime. Registration for GCS seniors opens December 1.

Current shift_ed Scholars Click HereCurrent GCS Seniors Register Here
Why did shift_ed change the scholarship model?

With equity as the guiding principle, shift_ed sought a way to better serve GCS graduates. The new scholarship model ensures families who need the most support receive the most scholarship dollars. Under the current model, more than 90% of shift_ed scholarship dollars will go to public school students with a family income under $150,000, and more than 40% of the total awards will be awarded to families making under $40,000. shift_ed reserves the right to review and make changes to the scholarship model every year to ensure dollars are equitably distributed among eligible Guilford County Schools graduates.

What do I need to do to be eligible under the new model?

If you are a current shift_ed scholar and your enrollment status has not changed, you will automatically be considered under the 2023-24 scholarship model. If you are a GCS student graduating in 2023 you must complete all steps of the shift_ed scholarship application, indicate the school in which you are enrolling, and complete the FAFSA by July 1, 2023. 

What do current college students need to do to continue receiving shift_ed funds?

If a student is continuing at the same school and has indicated their college/university in the shift_ed portal, there are no additional steps to complete, however, the student must continue to complete the FAFSA each year, and maintain a 2.0 GPA taking 12 credit hours or more at their post-secondary institution. The shift_ed scholarship registration is a one-time completion in the student’s senior year of high school. Students should keep their school choice and contact information updated in the scholarship portal as it is our main form of communication.

Who is eligible for shift_ed scholarships and grants?

All students who graduate from Guilford County Schools are invited to apply for shift_ed scholarships.

Overall Eligibility

  • Graduate from a Guilford County Schools High School
  • Have been continuously enrolled in Guilford County Schools since 9th grade
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year
  • Complete the shift_ed scholarship application and indicate their post-secondary institution enrollment prior to July 1st of 2023
  • Maintain full-time enrollment (12+ credit hours) and be in good academic standing with a GPA of at least 2.0 at a postsecondary institution

*This is the policy for the 2023-24 college year. shift_ed reserves the right to review and make changes to its model on an annual basis.

How can I determine my award eligibility?

Use information reported on your FAFSA and the table at the bottom of this page to determine your potential award.

Overall Eligibility

  • Graduate from a Guilford County Schools High School
  • Have been continuously enrolled in Guilford County Schools since 9th grade
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year
  • Complete the shift_ed scholarship application and indicate their post-secondary institution enrollment prior to July 1st of 2023
  • Maintain full-time enrollment (12+ credit hours) and be in good academic standing with a GPA of at least 2.0 at a postsecondary institution

NC Public Institutions

  • Tuition Only Scholarships for North Carolina 2 Year and 4 Year Public Institutions are based on family AGI (Adjusted Gross Income)
  • Students who receive the maximum amount of Pell funding for 2023-24 and have no tuition balance, are eligible to receive a $1,250 Acceleration Grant. Acceleration Grants can be used to pay for expenses beyond tuition costs, such as room and board, fees, books, or meal plans.

NC Private Institutions

  • Tuition awards for Partner North Carolina 4-Year Private Institutions
  • Graduates with a family AGI less than $75,000 are eligible for full tuition awards paid by shift_ed partner institutions
  • Graduates with a family AGI $75,001-150,000 may be eligible for a tuition award up to $3,000/year.

*This is the current policy for the 2023-24 college year. shift_ed reserves the right to review and make changes to its model on an annual basis.

 

What NC private schools partner with shift_ed?

shift_ed is working to secure new partnerships every day. As of November 2022, Greensboro College, Guilford College and Salem College are full partners, and High Point University is a limited partner. HPU offers up to five shift_ed full-tuition scholarships each year, and shift_ed offers up to five tuition awards to scholars with a family income up to $150,000. HPU chooses the scholars who will receive these scholarships. Students must complete a shift_ed application and the necessary steps for High Point University.

What if I am attending an out-of-state public school?

shift_ed partners only with public colleges and universities in North Carolina.

What if I attend one of the out-of-state private college partners?

Those compact agreements are held by Say Yes to Education National, not by our local organization. Students who enrolled in a Say Yes to Education National Higher Education Compact institution before Fall 2023 and whose family income is under $75,000 should not be impacted by the scholarship model change. Please reach out to your post-secondary institution’s financial aid counselor to confirm. GCS graduates with a family income of $75,001-150,000 who enrolled by Fall 2022 will be considered for tuition assistance under the 2023-24 scholarship model criteria for the remaining semesters of eligibility. Because those agreement contracts are not held by shift_ed, no students enrolling after August of 2022 will be eligible for out-of-state awards.

What does “last-dollar tuition scholarship” mean?

For students attending a public two-year or four-year institution in North Carolina, shift_ed’s scholarship will cover the remaining balance of a student’s tuition costs (up to the designated tuition cap) after Pell grant, state need-based aid, and institutional aid have been applied based on their financial aid award package for the academic year. Merit, academic, or outside scholarships are not factored into a student’s shift_ed scholarship.

How do I apply for the shift_ed scholarship?

Current Guilford County Schools seniors may apply for the scholarship by completing the scholarship registration form on this webpage. This simple registration process will take about 4-5 minutes to complete. Please be sure to sign the application to ensure that it is completed in its entirety.  Students may complete the shift_ed scholarship registration beginning December 1st of their senior year and must indicate the school that they will attend by July 1st of their senior year of high school.

What if I transfer from one college to another?

In the case that a student transfers to another college, they must update their shift_ed portal enrollment by February 1st for the spring semester and July 1st for fall enrollment.

Do I need to apply for the shift_ed scholarship every year that I am enrolled in college?

No, once you have applied for shift_ed during your senior year and indicated your enrollment in the portal, we will reach out to the institution on your behalf. You may be required to complete a consent form, giving the college permission to share data with shift_ed annually.

Does the scholarship program consider multiple children in the family or multiple students in school?

The number of students/family members is captured in the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) via the completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is required to be eligible to receive shift_ed funding.

Can DACA students apply?

Currently shift_ed cannot offer scholarships to students who are in consideration for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), as we require a FAFSA completion as part of our scholarship criteria. We are always working to raise funds to be able to serve even more students and families.

How is family income determined?

Family income is based on the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) listed on a family’s tax return and FAFSA each year.

What year is family income based on?

The 2023-2024 scholarship program is based on 2021 tax returns. Each year we will reassess the income based on the most recent FAFSA data.

Are the dollar amounts of the tuition for a full year or per semester?

The dollar amounts are for the full year. shift_ed makes two payments, one for the fall semester and one for the spring semester.

How many semesters is shift_ed funding available to each qualified student?

The tuition scholarship will be available to full-time students attending a four-year institution for a total of eight semesters over the five years after high school graduation. For students attending a two-year program, the scholarship will be available for a total of four semesters over the three years following high school graduation. A student will still be eligible to receive the shift_ed scholarship if he or she transitions from a two-year to a four-year college or university, provided it is an in-state public institution or a shift_ed private partner institution. To remain eligible, students must remain in good academic standing. This means retaining a 2.0 GPA, completing 12 credit hours a semester, and maintaining financial aid eligibility.

Can shift_ed funds be used for summer courses?

No. shift_ed funds may only be applied to the fall and spring semesters.

When will I receive my Fall semester funding and my Spring semester funding?

Payments for the fall semester are made to the colleges by October 15th for students who have completed their shift_ed registration by July 1st and have completed their college FERPA consent form by August 1st (if applicable).  In the Spring, payments are made to the colleges by March 1st, mirroring the fall semester schedule.

Please note: if you have not completed your FAFSA and your University FERPA consent form (if applicable to your college/university), then your scholarship award from shift_ed may not be awarded. Contact the financial aid office at your institution to make sure these have been completed and that the information has been sent to shift_ed. In addition, Student grade-point-averages are reviewed every semester and eligibility will be revoked after two consecutive semesters of not meeting Satisfactory Academic Performance (SAP) and/or not obtaining at least twelve (12) credit hours each semester.

Why are the funds sent after the semester starts?

Funds are sent to the college after all financial and academic information is received by shift_ed from the college, given the agreed-upon deadline. shift_ed will verify the student’s enrollment at the college, number of credit hours, and financial information, as reported by the FAFSA,  before any monies are dispersed.

Will I have to pay late fees, or will I have a hold placed on my student account because my shift_ed scholarship is not applied to my account until mid-semester?

shift_ed works with colleges and universities to ask that they waive late fees associated with awaiting the shift_ed scholarship funds.  If an institution has refused to waive your late fees and the only outstanding amount owed to the college is expected in your shift_ed scholarship award, please email scholarship@shift-ed.org with details regarding student’s first and last name, date of birth, and the school they attend that has assessed late fees to the account.

 Please note: If you have a balance due beyond what the shift_ed scholarship will cover, then you are responsible for those expenses, and any associated late fees.

I have a bill from the university, what do I do?

Once the shift_ed award for tuition is calculated, we ask schools to place soft holds on student accounts. Depending upon the institution, the parent or guardian may be asked to make the payment and will then be reimbursed through the school once the shift_ed payment is processed. We always ask that parents or students check with the respective financial aid office at their college/university to gain a better understanding of their policies.

What does it mean if a school is a “limited partner?”

High Point University is a limited partner with shift_ed. HPU offers up to five shift_ed full-tuition scholarships each year, and shift_ed offers up to five tuition awards to scholars with a family income up to $150,000. HPU chooses the scholars who will receive these scholarships. Students must complete a shift_ed application and the necessary steps for High Point University.

Is there a process for scholarship appeals?

shift_ed funding will be only allocated according to criteria under the current year scholarship model. Any scholar who has a family income under $150,000 can estimate their potential award by referring to the current scholarship model. Students who do not meet the criteria of the current year scholarship model may not appeal.

How can I get more help?

For questions not answered here, please email scholarship@shift-ed.org. Current scholars can also call the shift_ed scholarship hotline at 336-355-8213.

*This is the current policy for the 2023-24 college year. shift_ed reserves the right to review and make changes to its model on an annual basis.