Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 Impact on Selection Process

All aspects of student life, including academics, extracurricular involvement, and paid employment, have been significantly impacted in 2020 and 2021. How will the selection process account for this impact?

We recognize that the lives of our candidates and their families have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. The pandemic, and subsequent move to remote learning, have contributed to diminished academic performance, the cancellation of extracurricular activities, the loss of employment, housing insecurity, and serious health concerns. We encourage our candidates to take the opportunity, in both their university and scholarship applications, to articulate the challenges they have faced, as well as the opportunities they have created for personal growth.

How will your selection process be impacted now that NC State is “test optional” this year?

We have not required certain test scores and have put a low priority on test scores in recent years. If a candidate opts not to submit test scores on the NC State admission application, it will not put them at a disadvantage in our selection process. Further information on test score considerations in admissions is available here.

My family’s financial circumstances have changed since the start of the pandemic. How can I share my new or unique financial circumstances with the Goodnight Scholars Program to ensure an accurate review of my financial information prior to invitations being sent out?

By completing the self-nomination form on the Apply page of our website. The self-nomination form will be available on November 1st.

Given the ongoing economic fallout of the pandemic in the state and nation, do you anticipate any reduction in funding for the Goodnight Scholars Program and its students?

Thanks to the incredible generosity of Dr. Jim and Mrs. Ann Goodnight, the Goodnight Scholars Program has a robust endowment which ensures that we are able to fulfill our mission in perpetuity. Goodnight Scholars will continue to receive the full benefits of the program, including the scholarship, programming, enrichment funding, and advising. Moreover, during this crisis we have been able to support our students’ unexpected funding needs by awarding additional emergency grants.

How will the annual Finalist Interview Day be impacted by the pandemic and current restrictions?

Both the finalist interview days for the Class of 2026 and Transfer Class of 2025 will be held in-person, on campus in spring 2022. Current campus and local guidelines, such as indoor mask mandates, will be followed during these events.

Eligibility & Application Questions

What are the criteria to receive an invitation to apply to the Goodnight Scholars Program?

Please review the criteria listed on the Apply page of our website. Note that the criteria are slightly different between first-year and transfer applicants. You can also learn about our criteria by visiting our YouTube channel.

How do you assess “exceptional academic performance”?

We primarily assess academic performance using grades, weighted and unweighted GPA, and class rank. We put less stock in test scores and do not require certain scores for candidates to receive an invitation to apply. As we move along in our selection process, we focus on the quality and content of a candidate’s application and interview.

Which STEM or education majors are eligible for consideration to the Goodnight Scholars Program?

Our list of eligible majors is available here.

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to be eligible for this scholarship?

No. All students who qualify as residents of North Carolina, as well as refugee, DACA, and undocumented students who are living in North Carolina and will graduate from a North Carolina high school or community college, are eligible for this scholarship.

Can my school nominate me to receive an invitation to apply?

No. We do not accept school nominations.

If I meet all of the eligibility criteria, will I be invited to apply?

Meeting all of our eligibility criteria does not guarantee you will receive an invitation to apply. Each year, the number of eligible candidates consistently exceeds the number of invitations we are able to distribute.

Does receiving an invitation to apply to the Goodnight Scholars Program mean I am admitted to NC State?

No, receiving our invitation does not guarantee admission to NC State.

Does the Goodnight Scholars Program application include a letter of recommendation from my school’s counselor?

No. We do not accept letters of recommendation.

I have been nominated for the Park Scholarship. Should I fill out the Goodnight Scholars Program application?

Yes. While you cannot be both a Park Scholar and a Goodnight Scholar, we encourage you to participate in both selection processes until a decision has been made on your candidacy and, if necessary, you are asked to choose which program you will join.

I am graduating from an early college with my associate degree. Will I be eligible for the Goodnight Scholars Program as a first-year or transfer student?

It depends on the status you select when applying to NC State. With that being said, early college students are generally encouraged to apply to NC State as first-year students because of the greater number of funding and programming opportunities available compared to transfer students.  

I plan on transferring in the fall to NC State from a North Carolina community college, but I already have a bachelor’s degree from a four-year institution. Am I eligible for the Goodnight Scholars Program as a transfer student?

The spirit of the Goodnight Scholars Program for transfer students is to support North Carolina community college students who are pursuing their first bachelor’s degree from a four-year university.

I plan on transferring in the fall to NC State from a four-year university, but I have taken a lot of courses at a North Carolina community college and am eligible to receive my associate degree through a reverse transfer. Would doing this allow me to be eligible for the Goodnight Scholars Program as a transfer student?

NC State Admissions would classify you as a transfer student from your four-year institution and not the community college, which would make you ineligible for the Goodnight Scholars Program.

I am a transfer student looking to enroll at NC State in the spring. Am I eligible for the Goodnight Scholars Program?

Yes, beginning in spring 2022, spring transfer admits will be considered for an invitation to apply to the fall transfer cohort.

Do I need to enroll as a full-time student at NC State to be eligible for the Goodnight Scholars Program?


Can I reach out to current Goodnight Scholars and ask them about their experiences?

Yes! Please contact one of our Online Goodnight Ambassadors today!

Financial & Scholarship Questions

What if my household’s adjusted gross income (AGI) is over $110,000?

Candidates with AGIs slightly above $110,000 may still be eligible. We know that there are unique factors that can impact a candidate’s financial situation such as having multiple students in college at the same time or sudden major medical expenses. In the Goodnight Scholars Program self-nomination form, you will be able to explain any of these unique factors. Candidates with AGIs significantly above the $110,000 threshold are ineligible for this scholarship. AGI information can be found on line 7 of Form 1040 of an individual’s tax return.

How can I share my unique circumstances with the Goodnight Scholars Program to ensure an accurate review of my financial information prior to invitations being sent out?

By completing the self-nomination form on the Apply page of our website.

When is my FAFSA due?

First-year candidates for the Goodnight Scholars Program must submit their FAFSA by February 15th. Transfer candidates must submit their FAFSA by March 1st.

What does the Goodnight Scholarship cover?

Tuition and fees, housing and meals up to $21,000 per academic year as outlined in the NC State cost of attendance for in-state undergraduate students.

How many years/semesters can I receive the Goodnight Scholarship?

Goodnight Scholars who arrive as first-year students receive their scholarship for 4 years (or 8 semesters). Goodnight Scholars who arrive as transfer students receive their scholarship for 3 years (or 6 semesters). Students can postpone receiving their scholarship to participate in co-op; otherwise Goodnight Scholars are expected to use their scholarship funds within the designated time.

How many students are selected to receive the Goodnight Scholarship?

In spring 2022 we will select cohorts of 50 first-year students from North Carolina high schools, and 50 transfer students from North Carolina community colleges, to join our Class of 2026 and Transfer Class of 2025. 

Do I receive a computer stipend along with my scholarship?

No. However, if you have money leftover from your Goodnight Scholarship after your semester expenses have been paid, you can use those funds towards the purchase of a computer with approval from the Goodnight Scholars Program and the Office of Scholarship and Financial Aid. Students can only receive approval to purchase a computer once during their time at NC State.

Can my scholarship be used towards off-campus housing?

Yes. If you live off-campus, the remaining balance from your scholarship (after your tuition and fees have been paid) will be deposited into your bank account near the beginning of each semester, which can be used towards rent. The Goodnight Scholars Program does not approve requests to receive these funds in advance.

Can I receive the Goodnight Scholarship and other university scholarships at the same time?

Goodnight Scholars can receive most other departmental scholarships in conjunction with their Goodnight Scholarship. Goodnight Scholars cannot receive certain university scholarships in addition to their Goodnight, such as the GSK/C3 scholarship or the Chancellor’s Leadership Scholarship. Therefore, if a student receives one of these university scholarships, and then also receives the Goodnight, the other university scholarship may be rescinded.

Do I have to pay taxes on my Goodnight Scholarship?

Unfortunately, we are not authorized to provide tax advice. Since tax liability depends on each individual’s circumstances, scholars should consult a personal tax advisor with any questions or concerns. We also encourage you to reference the IRS Topic Number 421 – Scholarships, Fellowship Grants and Other Grants and the IRS Publication 970 – Tax Benefits for Education to gain a complete understanding of education-related taxes and credits. In addition, the Poole College of Management accounting students offer Free Income Tax Prep Service for students.

Programming Questions

Is attending Goodnight Scholars programming required?

Yes. All Goodnight Scholars are expected to earn a set number of participation hours per academic year to maintain their status in the Goodnight Scholars Program. 

What are some examples of Goodnight Scholars programming?

Examples include faculty and industry dinners, professional development workshops, cultural and artistic performances and athletic competitions. Please check out our News blog for the latest programming updates.

Is there a Goodnight Scholars Program course?

Yes. All first-year and transfer Goodnight Scholars are required to enroll in GSP 250 for their first fall semester and GSP 251 for their second fall semester. These courses emphasizes personal and professional development, goal setting, values assessment, career identity and written and oral communication.