Scholarships, Grants, and Loans
Lowering Your Costs
Guilford College merit scholarships are awarded to incoming first-year and transfer students.
Consideration is based upon a holistic review of each student’s application for admission. We look at it all — grades, coursework, SAT and/or ACT scores or your writing portfolio (Guilford is test-optional), class rank when available, leadership and community service, and extracurricular activities.
The value of Guilford's merit scholarships ranges from $60,000 to $108,000 over four years. There's no application process, and students are notified of their award at the time of admission.
All Guilford College scholarships, grants, and awards require full-time enrollment and that you maintain good academic standing to retain your institutional aid. Most institutional aid is restricted from paying more than 100 percent of tuition when combined with certain non-Guilford awards. Students are eligible for Guilford financial aid for a total of 8 semesters.
These scholarships are supported by the donations of a number of individuals who believe in the Core Values of Guilford College and want to invest in the success of every one of our students.
Guilford College Merit Scholarships
The Nathan Hunt Scholarship is named after a principal founder of the New Garden Boarding School, now known as Guilford College. A man committed to social justice, his was a prominent voice in opposition to the institution of slavery in America. When many were giving up on the South, Nathan stayed in North Carolina, keeping the doors of Guilford College open when a school like ours may not have been the most popular and, because of him, Guilford College remains one of the oldest Quaker founded colleges in the South. As a minister, Nathan was a leader in the Quaker community.
When considering students for the Nathan Hunt Scholarship, we are looking for those who demonstrate the highest level of academic achievement while embodying the qualities that made Nathan one of the pillars of his community: creativity, integrity, perseverance, and fortitude!
The J. Floyd “Pete” Moore Scholarship is named after Pete Moore, a 1940 graduate of Guilford College and an organizer extraordinaire. As a member of the Guilford community, it was his desire to make a Guilford College education available to all who wanted it. He was one of our 20th-century champions for wide-ranging diversity on campus. Never shy about bringing people together for the purpose of progressive conversations, he served as the coordinator of the Friends World Committee for Consultation Gathering at Guilford in 1967.
Students receiving this scholarship demonstrate an ability to connect their interest in world issues with their academic pursuits with excellence. We hope each of them finds an opportunity to connect with people who are different from them while pursuing their studies — and find personal growth in the process.
A Guilford faculty member from 1958 to 1979, Eugene Thompson had a passion for languages. He taught French, first-year Latin and a course in the universal language of Esperanto. He believed that if you want to have an impact on the lives of students, you must have proximity to them. Students remember him as a constant presence on campus, even after retirement, where he could be found in the library reading, doing research or simply spending time with Guilfordians.
Students receiving this scholarship demonstrate a strong ability and a distinct passion for connecting with others to find success. While interested in pursuing any number of majors while students here, these scholars also understand the importance of being great writers and speakers when you set out to be a world changer in your chosen field.
Clara Cox, Class of 1902, was a community activist from High Point, N.C., known for her dedication to fighting racism. She was particularly active in the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching, and to honor her efforts to promote social and civic justice, a low-income housing project in High Point was named after her. She also served as minister of Springfield Meeting until her death in 1940.
Harriet Peck was a Quaker abolitionist and teacher from Rhode Island who served on the first faculty of New Garden Boarding School (1837-39). She actively spoke out against slavery, promoted free produce movement (goods from vendors who did not use slaves), distributed anti-slavery literature, and illegally taught local African Americans on Sundays. Learn more about her through her letters, available in Hege Library’s Friends Historical Collection.
Nereus and Oriana Mendenhall were students in the early years of New Garden Boarding School (now Guilford College). Nereus, born in Jamestown, N.C., was an educator, doctor, and legislator. He returned to the school to serve as the principal teacher for a number of years, most notably from 1860 to 1867, when the couple chose to remain in North Carolina during the U.S. Civil War to continue the school’s operation.
Nereus and Oriana had five daughters and raised them with a commitment to education. Nereus led the coeducational boarding school by offering advanced coursework in the same classroom for both men and women. Their daughter, Mary Mendenhall Hobbs, continued her family’s educational connections as an advocate for women’s access to higher education. (May Hobbs Residence Hall is named in her honor.) She was also the wife of Guilford’s first president, Lewis Lyndon Hobbs.
T. Gilbert Pearson, Class of 1897, is considered a founding father of the U.S. conservation movement because of his leadership in the 1905 founding of the National Audubon Society. Raised as a Quaker in central Florida, he arrived at Guilford needing to improve his writing skills but with a rich knowledge of birds. He offered his collection of bird eggs and specimens as initial payment to Guilford College, which President Lewis Lyndon Hobbs accepted. After graduating from Guilford in 1897, he completed graduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He returned to Guilford to found the Biology Department, and later served on the faculty at the State Normal School (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro).
Other Guilford Scholarship Programs
We are pleased to offer the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Scholar Program at Guilford College, one of the original college/university campuses in the United States where the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation created both a scholarship fund and an award program.
Algernon Sydney Sullivan was a lawyer, a spiritual and thoughtful leader, a noted philanthropist, a devoted family man and a courageous citizen during perilous times. Nobel character and traits related to ethical and moral values, including honesty, morality, ethics, integrity, responsibility, determination, courage and compassion are a must for those students who are selected for the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation Scholarship. Students must show they serve the needs of others and the community.
This program offers a $10,000 renewable scholarship each year.
Expectations of Program
- During the first year, engage in a minimum of 80 hours of service work with a community partner with review and approval by the Guilford College designated faculty adviser.
- At the beginning of the second year, identify a social need or gap being experienced in the communities with which they worked that could be addressed through innovation and leadership.
- Upon review and approval by the faculty advisor, design an innovative program or tool that would address this social issue.
- Enroll in one of the classes that may support them as they engage in their program design.
- The program or tool will also include an ethical leadership context and framework.
- This consists of an understanding that everything a leader does is within an ethical context. Ethical decision-making is guided by the standards and values that reflect us "at our best."
- Ethical decision-making flows from a commitment to act in ways that promote fundamental values and principles such as equity, dignity, compassion, the lessening of suffering, and flourishing relationships and communities.
- Also, included is the ability to see a wide range of possibilities and adopt fresh approaches, for addressing an existing ethical challenge or preventing one from arising in the first place. The model includes three different levels where leadership can be demonstrated: individual, group and community level.
- This program will be led by the scholarship recipient but may be collaborative in nature, involving community members or students and faculty from disciplines that would enhance their social innovation project.
- In the third year, implement this program or tool.
- Toward the end of this year, conduct an assessment of the program or tool and make improvements.
- In the fourth year, continue the program or tool.
- In this year, ascertain options for sustainability and continuation of the program.
- Toward the end of this year, conduct a workshop or talk for fellow students and/or members of the greater community, to share their learning from this experience as an Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation Service and Ethical Leadership Scholar.
Guilford College is proud to be one of 65 colleges and universities in the country to have the Bonner College signature. Organized by the Bonner Foundation in Princeton, N.J., the program selects schools for participation based on their commitment to developing and supporting future service leaders of the world.
Incoming first-year students are invited to apply for the Bonner Leaders program. The selection process for these leaders is stringent. Students must first demonstrate, in the context of their application materials, an extraordinary commitment to service. A preliminary screening is based on financial need and academic record. A secondary screening is based on past service experience with a phone or in-person interview.
The focus of the program is the deliberate and coordinated support that each Bonner Leader is given to provide 280 hours of service during the academic year.
Expectations of Bonner Leaders include:
- Involvement in community service programs for an average of 10 hours a week during the school year. Bonner Leaders will be allowed to choose from several service opportunities in the local community.
- Completing 280 hours of volunteer work during one summer of service. (This may be in the scholar's hometown or elsewhere.) There is flexibility in this expectation; scholars will work with the director of Guilford's Bonner Leaders Program to make sure that this is an opportunity and not a restriction.
- Participation in enrichment activities planned by the College and the Bonner Leaders Program.
- Arriving at Guilford College before Week of Welcome to attend a specialized Bonner Leaders Orientation.
- Regular meetings with other Bonner Leaders and Bonner Foundation liaison staff officers on the campus to facilitate the program's success.
To learn more about the Bonner Leader Program at Guilford College, including requirements and opportunities for service, please visit the Bonner Leaders webpage.
The Ethical Leadership Fellows Scholarship at Guilford College is for students who exemplify Guilford's Core Values of community, justice, equality, diversity, integrity, stewardship, and excellence.
Those selected as Ethical Leadership Fellows receive a merit-based scholarship of $6,000 per year for four years.
At Guilford College, students who are self-reflective, curious, caring, and have the drive to make the world better are called ethical leaders. As an Ethical Leadership Fellow, students are exposed to ethical reasoning, diverse global perspectives, hands-on learning experiences, and, with support, the challenge of leading their peers to also make a positive difference on campus and around the world.
Fellows spend a significant amount of time volunteering in Greensboro, learning how to solve pressing social problems (such as climate change, racism, and homelessness); putting Quaker traditions and values (like community, peace, and equality) to work in the community; helping the campus become more inclusive; planning major events; or a variety of other things that reflect your interests and use your gifts.
If you feel like dedicating your four years at Guilford to focused ethical-leadership development and sharing this experience with other, similarly dedicated students, please begin your Guilford College application today. Students are selected to apply based on recommendations from their Admission Counselor.
For more information, contact Guilford's Ethical Leadership Coordinator Amanda Szabo-Huff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
QLSP is an ethical leadership program and community of about 30 students. The program invites students to apprentice to the Quaker tradition and to learn and practice what it means to live spiritually rooted and socially just lives. Through theological and spiritual discussion, service experiences, and community building, students are invited to leadership within and outside of the Quaker world.
Students engage with opportunities to practice leadership skills, spiritual formation, community building, and serve Guilford College and the greater Greensboro community.
Guilford offers an average of eight to 10 Quaker Leadership Scholarships to first-year students each year. Students selected for QLSP receive financial awards renewable for four years. If financial need has not been already met by other awards, Guilford provides a grant of up to $3,500 for QLSP participation. In addition, Guilford matches up to $500 of assistance provided by a student’s home Quaker Meeting.
All students are considered eligible for QLSP based on their interest in the Religious Society of Friends and leadership and academic potential. Learn more about the Friends Center at Guilford, a collaborative endeavor between the school and the Religious Society of Friends.
Expectations for QLSP Scholars include:
- Weekly all-QLSP worship and community time
- Regular worship with local Quaker Meetings
- About 40 hrs of service engagement per semester
- First-year students: Ethical Leadership Initiate Course and REL 110: Quakerism course
- A six-session module or mini-class on Quaker and social-justice topics
- Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5
- Meet monthly with "Spiritual Friendships"
- Leadership in the program through engagement with program offerings, community members, academic study, local Friends, and Friends Center staff
For more information, contact QLSP Director Liz Nicholson (she/her) at email@example.com, or learn more online.
Students whose parents, stepparents, grandparents, or siblings graduated from Guilford College are eligible to receive a $1,500 Legacy Scholarship for four years.
Guilford College participates in several tuition exchange programs, which are open to full-time employees' eligible dependents who must be degree-seeking and pursuing their baccalaureate degree.
Students accepted for Guilford’s tuition exchange program must live on campus and continuously maintain satisfactory academic progress. The scholarship covers tuition only for the current academic year.
Applications must be received by May 1 for enrollment in the fall semester. To determine eligibility, please work with your institution's tuition exchange liaison.
Participating Colleges and Universities
Grants and Outside Aid
Students who complete and send in the FAFSA are eligible for consideration to receive Guilford College Need-Based Aid. In making these awards, we look at the expected family contribution (EFC) relative to the cost of attendance at Guilford. Students who are not eligible to complete a FAFSA should contact the Office of Financial Aid. We have an independent form that provides us with the same information.
NOTE: If you receive a scholarship from any source after being awarded the Guilford Grant, the grant may be reduced by the amount of the scholarship that was added to your award package. This can occur before, during or at the conclusion of any semester and will be adjusted at the time the Office of Financial Aid is notified of this additional scholarship.
These grants range from $250 to $10,000 and are need-based forms of financial aid. This means that the amounts are dependent upon the information received from the FAFSA form. This grant is available to all students who qualify for up to a total of eight semesters. Students must be registered for at least 12 credit hours (full-time) and remain in good academic standing. Guilford grant amounts can vary from year to year depending on the level of financial need demonstrated from year to year.
Students from Guilford County, N.C., are eligible to apply for the Guilford College Shift_ed Scholarship Program (previously known as Say Yes. 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 scholarships and grants that come from other internal and/or external sources. Students with household family incomes greater than $75,000 will be considered for a Shift_ed Choice Grant of up to $5,000 from the Guilford Shift_ed Program.
By the Priority Deadline of March 1, applicants must complete the following steps to be considered:
- Apply and get accepted to Guilford College
- Complete the Shift_ed certification forms (http://sayyesguilford.org)
- Complete and submit the FAFSA with actual, not estimated, tax information
Since the Guilford Shift_ed (Say Yes) program began in 2015, roughly 150 students have received the Shift_ed (Say Yes) Grant or Choice Grant, getting an average of $4,253 in institutional aid from the College.
This is a federally funded grant to students pursuing their first bachelor’s degree who have a high financial need, as determined by the FAFSA. For the 2022-2023 academic year, the Pell Grant award ranges from $607 to $6,895.
This federal grant program is for students who receive the Pell Grant and have an exceptional financial need. The amount awarded can change each year. For 2022-2023 the average award was $500. The College has a limited amount we can award, so it's important to have your FAFSA filed as soon as possible if you think you qualify.
North Carolina residents who attend Guilford College may be eligible to receive the North Carolina Need Based Scholarship (NCNBS). To be considered, students must file the FAFSA and have met the following criteria
- Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the FAFSA of $16,000 or less
- Maximum Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) = $155,000 regardless of EFC
- Be enrolled it at least 9 credit hours - NCNBS amount will vary based on enrolled credit hours
- A resident of North Carolina
- Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
For full consideration, you must complete your residency form at https://ncresidency.cfnc.org/residencyInfo/home within 30 days of the start of the semester.
The Children of Fallen Heroes scholarship is an award given to Pell eligible students whose parent or guardian died in the line of duty while performing as a public safety officer. Students are eligible to receive the maximum amount of Pell Grant for the award year for which the determination of eligibility is made. Students qualify for this scholarship by demonstrating the following:
- The student must be Pell-eligible and have a Pell-eligible Expected Family Contribution number.
- The student must be less than 24 years of age or enrolled at an institution of higher education at the time of his or her parent's or guardian's death.
- In subsequent award years, the student continues to be eligible for the scholarship as long as the student has a Pell-eligible EFC and continues to be an eligible student.
If you fall into this category, please fill out this form.
*If you are already a maximum Pell recipient there will be no change to your award since you are receiving the maximum amount.
Types of Loans
The Federal Direct Loan is a low-interest loan with flexible repayment options you borrow from the federal government.
- Am I eligible? This loan is available to all undergraduate students who complete the FAFSA and first-time borrowers must complete entrance counseling.
- No credit check is required.
- What is the interest rate? The interest rate for loans borrowed during the 2022-2023 year is 4.99%. For Graduate students using an Unsubsidized loan, the interest rate is 6.54%. Both are a fixed rate, meaning it will never change from the moment you take out the loan. These interest rates are valid until June 30th, 2023.
- Are there different types of Federal Direct Loans? There are two types of Federal Direct Loans.
- With the first type, the government pays the interest for you during the times listed below. This is called a subsidized loan. TIP: Subsidized loans are always better than unsubsidized loans.
- While you’re taking at least six credits (or more) per semester (half-time)
- For the first six months after you leave school (a grace period)
- During a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments)
- The other kind of Federal Direct Loan is when interest begins to accumulate from the moment Guilford receives the loan. This is called an unsubsidized loan. However, paying the interest is optional while you’re taking at least six credits per semester and the first six months after you leave school.
- With the first type, the government pays the interest for you during the times listed below. This is called a subsidized loan. TIP: Subsidized loans are always better than unsubsidized loans.
- How much can I borrow? The amount you can borrow each year depends on if you’re a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior.
- First-year students can borrow up to $5,500 per year, with up to $3,500 subsidized
- Sophomores can borrow up to $6,500 per year, with up to $4,500 subsidized
- Juniors and seniors can borrow up to $7,500 per year, with up to $5,500 subsidized
- When do I pay back the loan? You don’t start paying back the loan until six months after you graduate or take fewer than six credit hours per semester (half-time). You must also complete exit counseling.
The Federal Parent PLUS Loan is a loan that parents of undergraduate students can use to cover costs that aren’t covered by other forms of financial aid.
- Am I eligible? Guilford families come in many different shapes and sizes! Biological and adoptive parents of undergraduates are eligible to apply. Stepparents can also apply if they complete the FAFSA with their student. You just need to make sure your student has completed the FAFSA.
- Is there a credit check? Yes, but as long as you don’t have an adverse (negative) credit history within the past 5 years, chances are you will be approved.
- When do I pay back the loan? You can start paying back the loan while your student is in school, or you can wait until after they leave. As long as your student is enrolled for at least six credits per semester, it’s up to you.
- What is the interest rate? The interest rate for loans borrowed during the 2022-2023 year is 7.54%. It’s a fixed rate, meaning it will not change from the time that the loan is disbursed. This interest rate is valid until June 30th, 2023.
- How much can I borrow? The Federal Parent PLUS Loan is meant to cover any remaining Guilford costs after the student’s scholarships, grants, and student loans. Need advice on how much you will need? Contact your Financial Aid counselor. We’re here to help!
- Where can I apply? You can complete the PLUS Loan application at www.studentaid.gov.
Please ensure you have reviewed all federal loan options prior to applying for a private student loan. Federal Student Aid (FSA) offers an excellent guide to understanding the important differences between federal and private loans. The Office of Financial Aid strongly encourages you to review this information prior to pursuing a private alternative student loan.
Private student loans (also known as alternative loans) are loans you borrow from a private bank or lender, not the federal government. Unlike the Federal Direct Loan or the Federal Parent PLUS Loan, you don’t need to complete a FAFSA to apply. However, private lenders will vary in their interest rates, loan terms, and eligibility requirements. Carefully research each lender and the loans they offer to figure out which one is best for you. Guilford College has compiled a list of lenders for you to review at ELMSelect.
When it comes to borrowing for your education, you have a number of options available, as do your parents.
- Some loans are borrowed from the federal government.
- There are other loans you can borrow from a bank or private lender.
- Some loans have interest rates that never change (fixed); some loans have interest rates that change every year (variable).
- Other loans require a credit check, some do not.
We’re here to help you find the best loans to meet your needs. You can review the differences in the loan programs in this document.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) requires that institutions participating in the federal student loan programs develop, publish, and enforce a code of conduct with respect to student loans. Guilford College is committed to the highest standard of ethics and conduct and therefore, the staff of the Financial Aid Office is bound by the institution’s Code of Conduct and Ethics for Business Activities. In addition, all staff of the Office of Financial Aid has signed a statement acknowledging and pledging to follow NASFAA’s Code of Conduct. Read the NASFAA Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct for Institutional Aid Professionals.