Go to College for Free! … Sorta

According to a recent announcement by Governor Easley, this week, November 12-16, is College Application Week. In conjunction, some of North Carolina’s undergraduate institutions are waiving application fees to support his effort to put every high school kid who wants to go to college, in college.


I remember application season very well. It’s a time that strikes fear and apprehension into the heart of every college-bound high school senior, and it made my normally sedate college counselor pull his hair out in frustration. But for some seniors, who have never thought higher education was a possibility for them, or who have never thought about it at all, this week might be like any other.

That’s something that North Carolina is trying to change.

Easley, along with the College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) and the Carolinas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (CACRAO), is using the next five days to show that college doesn’t have to be an unrealistic dream.

More than 100 high schools in the state are participating, as well as twenty-seven colleges and universities and all fifty-eight community colleges. When students apply to these institutions online using CFNC.org, the application fee, usually more than $100, gets waived. For students who, like my older brother, like to have options and apply to a spectrum of schools (my brother applied to fifteen, racking up an obscene amount of fees), now, as long as those schools are participating, can do so without going bankrupt.  

I applied to Davidson early admission, and since I only had to pay one fee, the damage wasn’t so bad. It’s hard to say whether I’d have applied to more places if there were no fees, but I can definitely say that would have been a much more attractive option.  

Schools like Lenoir-Rhyne, Methodist University, Guilford College, N.C. Wesleyan, Wingate, Gardner-Webb, and Queens University of Charlotte are all participating. Click here to see a full list. Or call toll-free 866-866-CFNC.


Monica Jamouneau is an editorial intern at Charlotte magazine.