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Our Promise of Access

Imagine a bold, confident Wolfpack filled with students of every background, preparing for success without financial worry. Imagine a state where talent is never wasted and possibility never feels out of reach.

With the Extraordinary Opportunity Scholarship Initiative, this vision can become reality.

In February 2020, we announced the creation of the Extraordinary Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (EOSI). The goal was simple: to keep our promise of access for every student admitted to NC State by closing the gap between the cost of higher education and what a student can afford.

The difference has been life-changing.

“The Extraordinary Opportunity Scholarship Initiative has had an incredible impact for our most underresourced undergraduates from North Carolina,” said Krista Ringler. “Because of this initiative, we have been able to offer essential scholarship funding to 434 students. Without this support, these students likely would have applied for additional student loans or may have decided that NC State was out of reach for them financially.”

The legacy and impact of the Extraordinary Opportunity Scholarship Initiative has just begun.

Krista Ringler

Associate vice provost for scholarships and financial aid

Empowering more North Carolinians – of every family background and economic situation – with the opportunity to earn a college degree has always been at the heart of our land-grant mission to solve problems and fuel prosperity.

While we are recognized for our affordability, the average annual need per student is $17,000, and few students can cover this cost through summer jobs or by working during the school year.  More than 70% of undergraduates apply for financial aid each year, and nearly 50% of undergraduates qualify for need-based aid based on federal guidelines.

With the Extraordinary Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (EOSI), we’re coming together to make sure that every accepted student can make the most out of their chance to join the Pack – because when we give first-generation students and students from low- to middle-income families the opportunity to succeed by removing financial barriers, the results are extraordinary.

Breaking Down Barriers

In only four years, NC State’s Extraordinary Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (EOSI) has made a difference in the lives of more than 400 students, some of whom have received the award multiple years. A reaffirmation of our university’s commitment to educating North Carolinians of every background, EOSI has quickly become a popular way for donors to have an immediate impact as the university continues to build its culture of philanthropy. Here’s a closer look at our EOSI recipients to date:

58% Are From North Carolina’s Tier 1 and Tier 2 Counties

These represent our state’s most economically challenged areas.

42% Are From Underrepresented Groups

The class of 2026 is NC State’s most diverse class to date.

23% Are the First in Their Family at a Four-Year College

The impact of EOSI extends beyond the award recipients.

Launched With Student Voices

There are no more powerful voices to speak about the impact of need-based support than those of our students. Starr Gibens ’22 helped launch EOSI in a 2020 video and by speaking at NC State’s annual celebration of philanthropy events. “Helping with EOSI is special because it’s not just one scholarship and done. It’s something that’s changing students’ lives for a long time — so that they can come to NC State, so that they can graduate from college. So they can have the experiences I’ve had.” Click the image to hear from Starr.

Starr Gibens does the wolfie in her graduation cap


  • More than 70% of our undergraduates apply for financial aid.
  • Nearly 50% of our undergraduates qualify for some form of need-based aid, based on federal guidelines.
  • The average cost of attendance at NC State is $26,814. Although we are recognized for our affordability, a student cannot hope to cover this cost through summer jobs or by working during the school year.
  • The average annual need of our undergraduate students is almost $18,000, and we lose promising scholars because we currently cannot meet 100% of need.
  • With a combination of endowed and current-use gifts of all sizes, EOSI is closing the gap in real-time — and ensuring we can continue to provide for our students for years to come.

Students are challenged with the same economic factors we all face. Rising costs, particularly for housing in our area, adds additional pressure. There is still work to do to ensure that the extraordinary opportunity of an NC State education remains within reach.

Krista Ringler

Associate vice provost for scholarships and financial aid

The Memorial Belltower on a cloudy day.

434 students have received EOSI scholarships since spring 2021.

Opening Doors, Fulfilling Dreams

Meet some of our most recent and inaugural EOSI recipients and learn more about how need-based scholarships make an immediate and direct impact.