Important Terms

Cost of Attendance

This amount includes tuition, fees, room and board, medical insurance, plus estimates for books, transportation and miscellaneous living expenses. We use this number to calculate your eligibility for financial aid. Any increase or decrease in College charges will automatically be considered in determining or revising a student’s financial aid award.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

EFC is the amount the FAFSA determines what your family can pay for one year of education. This number is a constant and it does not change regardless of what institution you make application. Your EFC could change each year of college enrollment depending on your family’s financial situation (income, assets, liabilities all determined from the FAFSA).

Demonstrated Need

A student’s demonstrated need is determined by subtracting the expected family contribution from the cost of attendance. The EFC includes support from parents, savings from previous earnings, liquid assets and the public or private assistance that may be available to the student.

Scholarships, Loans and Grants

We make every effort, within the limits of our available financial aid resources, to assure that no qualified student will be denied the opportunity to attend Guilford College simply because they lack adequate funds. Financial assistance is available in a variety of forms to help students who meet academic and financial need requirements.

Financial aid is awarded on the basis of demonstrated need and/or academic or other merit. Because the primary responsibility for meeting college expenses resides with students and their families, the purpose of financial aid is to supplement the resources of each family. Parents are expected to contribute toward their student’s expenses from income and assets insofar as they are able. However, students are obliged to provide funds for their own education through savings, summer work and other resources.

Because it is so important to us that students who are accepted and choose to attend Guilford be able to do so, we are proud to state that 100% of students demonstrating financial need will receive some type of aid at Guilford College.


Merit Scholarships

First-year merit scholarship candidates must present a rigorous course selection, including Honors, Advanced Placement and/or International Baccalaureate when available. Other factors considered include the personal essay and leadership in high school. Students who submit a portfolio in lieu of standardized test scores will be considered based on the minimum GPA requirements, strength of writing and the overall quality of their application. Scholarships range from $5,000 to $20,000 each year for four years.

Learn more about available merit scholarships.

How to Apply

All students are automatically considered for merit scholarships based on their application. Priority will be given to students who submit completed applications by February 15. You will receive notification of your financial aid award by letter.

Guilford College Grant

Eligibility for the Guilford College Grant is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To be considered, students and families should complete the FAFSA by February 15. The FAFSA must be filed annually in order to reestablish eligibility for the Guilford College Grant.

How to Apply

  1. First-year students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 15. Continuing and transfer students should submit the FAFSA by May 1. Guilford’s Federal School Code  for use on the FAFSA is 002931 .
  2. The Office of Financial Aid will receive your information from the federal government. The information you must provide includes any family resources (parents’ and students’ income and assets) and all taxable and nontaxable income (Social Security, welfare, veteran’s benefits, etc.). Allowances are made for taxes and Social Security paid and housekeeping if both parents are working. Other factors considered are family size, unusual expenses, employment expense, medical and dental expenses not covered by insurance and the number of family members in college.
  3. You will receive notification of your financial aid award by letter. This lists all funds that have been reserved for you by the College from institution, state and federal sources.
  4. If you receive assistance from outside sources, it is your responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid. Your award will be reviewed and adjusted as necessary to comply with federal rules. Outside aid is used first to meet any unmet need remaining after college, federal and state sources have been used. If the outside aid exceeds this unmet need, the remaining funds are first applied to reduce loan or work components of your financial aid package.
  5. If your financial aid package resulted from an application for need-based aid, please notify the Office of Financial Aid of any changes in circumstances that might affect your financial eligibility.
  6. After reviewing your financial aid award and acceptance agreement, calculate what you will owe for tuition, fees, room, board and any other charges for the semester. Remember to exclude work study as a credit.
  7. Any balance due to Guilford College after the crediting of financial aid funds is payable by August 1.

Bonner Scholars

The Bonner Scholars Program is an important part of Guilford’s Community Learning Program. Fifteen Bonner Scholars are selected each year based on their high financial need and their demonstrated commitment to serve during their high school careers. Accepted students receive scholarship funds and extensive training in return for their commitment to the four-year program. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Admissions decisions to the program are made on a rolling basis.

Funded by the Bonner Foundation in Princeton, N.J., the Bonner Scholars Program operates in 27 colleges and universities in the U.S. Each of our Bonner Scholars actively contribute to the wider community by performing 140 hours of service per semester and two summers of 280 hours. Students may receive internship credit for their work and are allowed to accept paid positions with non-profits for summer service.

How to Apply

For more information, contact James Shields, Bonner scholars director, at 336.316.2447.

Quaker Student Scholarships

Guilford College offers an average of eight to ten Quaker Leadership Scholarships to first‑year students each year. Scholars are selected on the basis of interest in the Religious Society of Friends, leadership and academic potential. Students selected as Quaker Leadership Scholars receive financial awards renewable for four years.

How to Apply

Complete the Quaker Leadership Scholarship Program application and submit it to the Office of Admission no later than March 15. Notification of acceptance into the program will be made as soon after April 1 as possible. If financial need has not already been met by other awards, Guilford College provides a grant of up to $3,000 for QLSP participation. In addition, Guilford will match up to $500 of assistance provided by a student’s Meeting.

Guilford Say Yes to Education

Guilford College is a Compact Partner to the Say Yes to Education Scholarship Program. This program is potentially available to students who have been enrolled in a Guilford County school since the ninth grade. Students whose household family income is $75,000 or less will be considered for a grant from Guilford College equal to any remaining tuition costs not covered by the scholarships and grants they are already receiving. Students with household family incomes greater than $75,000 will have the opportunity to apply for a Say Yes Choice Grant of up to $5,000 from the Guilford Say Yes Program.

By February 15, 2017, applicants must complete the following steps in order to be considered:

Outside Scholarships

There are a number of scholarship opportunities outside of Guilford College. The following is a list of resources available to assist in your scholarship search. When searching for scholarships, it is important to remember to protect yourself from fraud. Never pay to apply for or search for a scholarship. Review the third-party privacy policies of each search site to learn how they use your personal information and with whom they share it. Helpful information on how to avoid scholarship scams can be found hereIf you have any questions or concerns about a scholarship you have found, please do not hesitate to contact our office.


Loans & Grants

Stafford Loan Program

Federal Stafford Loans, both subsidized and unsubsidized, as well as PLUS (a loan for parents), are available through the Federal Direct Loan Program. Students who apply for Federal Stafford Student Loans must be matriculated, degree-seeking candidates enrolled at least half time (six credit hours) per semester. Federal regulations specify that federal aid recipients must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals or eligible non-citizens.

The subsidized Stafford loans are need-based and the government pays the interest on these loans while the student is in school, during a six-month grace period immediately preceding repayment and during authorized deferment. The unsubsidized Stafford loans are not need-based and the student is responsible for all of the interest that accrues on the loan, including while in school. The PLUS loan is available for parents and helps cover the remaining balance due on a student’s account up to the difference between the budgeted total and the expected financial aid.

A full-time student will be eligible for a specific amount of Federal Stafford Loans each academic year based on their grade level and dependency status. Below are the borrowing limits:

grade level
dependent student
independent student
Freshman (0-31 Credits)  $3,500 $3,500 plus $6,000 Unsubsidized
Sophomore (32-63 Credits)
$4,500 $4,500 plus $6,000 Unsubsidized
Junior (64-95 Credits)
$5,500 $5,500 plus $7,000 Unsubsidized 
Senior (96+ Credits)
$5,500 $5,500 plus $7,000 Unsubsidized

How to Apply

In order to accept any federal Stafford Loan money in your financial aid award package, you must:
  1. Login to BannerWeb.
  2. Click the Financial Aid tab.
  3. Go to Award.
  4. Go to Award for Aid Year and select the appropriate year.
  5. Click on Accept Award Offer.

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Guilford’s Federal Code Number for use on the FAFSA is 002931. Based on that application, the Office of Financial Aid will determine your eligibility for either a subsidized or unsubsidized Stafford Loan and subsequently will make that award part of your financial aid award letter. 

At this point, you will accept, decline, or adjust the amount of your Federal Stafford Loan. From BannerWeb, you can follow the link to where you can sign your promissory note and Loan Entrance Counseling. Your subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loans WILL NOTprocess if you do not complete these steps.

Perkins Loan Program

The federal Perkins Loan Program offers student loans with an interest rate of five percent that must be repaid within 10 years. Payments begin nine months after the student leaves Guilford College or falls below half-time status. While you are in school at least half time and during your nine-month grace period, interest will not accrue and no payments are required. Following the grace period, the student will be billed on a monthly basis for the Perkins Loan. Deferments and extensions may apply under certain circumstances.

How to Apply

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) . Guilford’s Federal Code Number for use on the FAFSA is 002931 . Based on that application, the Office of Financial Aid will determine your eligibility for a Perkins Loan and subsequently will make that award part of your financial aid award letter. Along with the award letter you will receive a Federal Perkins Loan information sheet and request form. You must then complete and return the Perkins Loan Request Form. From that form we start the loan process. You will receive a Perkins Promissory Note from the lender. Your loan proceeds will not transfer to the College until that promissory note has been signed and returned to your lender.

Pell Grant Program

Federal Pell Grants are considered a foundation of federal financial aid, to which aid from other federal and nonfederal sources might be added. A Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. The maximum Pell Grant award for the 2014-15 award year (July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015) is $5,730. The amount you get will depend not only on your financial need, but also on your costs to attend school, your status as a full-time or part-time student and your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less. You may receive up to two consecutive Pell Grant awards during a single award year to accelerate your program toward your degree. You must be enrolled at least half-time and in a program that leads to an associate or bachelor’s degree or certificate.

How to Apply

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Guilford’s Federal Code Number for use on the FAFSA is 002931. Based on that application, the Office of Financial Aid will determine your eligibility for a Pell Grant and subsequently will make that award part of your financial aid award letter.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program is for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Pell Grant recipients with the lowest expected family contributions (EFCs) will be considered first for a FSEOG. Just like Pell Grants, the FSEOG does not have to be repaid. FSEOG recipients can receive between $100 and $4,000 per year.

How to Apply

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Guilford’s Federal Code Number for use on the FAFSA is 002931. Based on that application, the Office of Financial Aid will determine your eligibility for an FSEOG and subsequently will make that award part of your financial aid award letter.

North Carolina Need-Based Scholarship Program

North Carolina residents who attend Guilford as full-time students or three quarter students may be eligible for the new N.C. Need-Based Scholarship (NCNBS). Legal residents of North Carolina with EFC’s (Expected Family Contribution) of $15,000 or less and meet the eligibility criteria of the Federal Pell Grant Program are eligible for the scholarship. Individual grant amounts will vary according to the EFC of students who complete the FAFSA. Funding is determined on a year to year basis by the North Carolina State Legislature.

Alternative Loans

Guilford College is pleased to be able to make available several third-party options for loans after students have looked into the federal loan programs. These loans are provided by banks and lending institutions and carry reasonable interest rates and repayment plans. They can be used to pay any balance due on a student’s account up to the difference between the financial aid awarded and the student’s budget.

How to Apply

Visit ELMSelect for a list of preferred lenders for alternative loans. There, you can do a comparison of loans and apply for your chosen loan online. When you have completed the online application with the lender, they will notify Guilford College to certify the loan. We will then adjust your financial aid package and send you an amended award letter that will include the anticipated funds from your loan.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Financial Aid Recipients

Guilford College seeks to provide a high quality educational experience for all those who choose to benefit from this opportunity and is committed to extending all possible resources in pursuit of this goal.  However, students have responsibilities in regard to their educational pursuits. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the completion of course work in a reasonable time frame and a quality of performance that meets accepted grade point standards.

In compliance with appropriate federal regulations, Guilford shall adhere to the policies stated herein for determination of satisfactory academic progress compliance relative to eligibility for financial aid. This includes federal, state and institutional funds. Certain academic awards and some endowed scholarships may require higher academic performance than this Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy. Students must be maintaining satisfactory academic progress before financial assistance can be awarded.

Default and Overpayment Status

Guilford College follows federal and state guidelines concerning students who are in default on previous student loans or in overpayment with the Department of Education. Institutional aid, as well as federal and state, will not be awarded until default and/or overpayment status is cleared.

Default is defined as being delinquent more than 270 to 360 days with payments for a loan that is currently in repayment status with the Department of Education.

Overpayment is defined as having received an excess of financial aid funds from the Department of Education.

In either case, the student should contact the Department of Education’s Default Resolution Group at 800.621.3115.