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Nonprofit Sponsorship FAQInternational Students

Due to Covid-19, in-person information sessions are not currently being held. Students should contact an Admissions DSO at [email protected] for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Why do international students need a nonprofit letter?: International students are not required to submit a nonprofit letter however a nonprofit sponsorship letter entitles the student to in-state tuition rates. Students without a nonprofit sponsor are required to pay out-of-state tuition ($286 per credit) while students with a nonprofit sponsor are entitled to in-state rates ($76 per credit).
  2. What is a nonprofit organization?: A nonprofit organization is an organization whose purpose is something other than making a profit. Nonprofit organizations are often dedicated to furthering a particular social cause or advocating for a particular point of view. For purposes of North Carolina community college, a North Carolina nonprofit entity is a charitable or religious corporation or is a civic league as defined in General Statue 55A that is incorporated in North Carolina and is exempt from taxation under section 501C3.
  3. What law allows international students to use the nonprofit sponsor letter?: North Carolina General Statue 115D-39 is the general statue that addresses tuition classification. Part C allows for lawfully admitted international students to be eligible for in-state tuition with a letter of support and sponsorship from a NC nonprofit entity.
  4. How does a nonprofit sponsor differ than an immigration sponsor?: An immigration sponsor is required when a student is seeking a change of status or F-1 visa. These sponsors must have an ending balance of $23,000 in an account for each of the prior three months. This information and sponsorship is sent to the United States Custom and Immigration Services office. Once approved for F-1 status the sponsor is not obligated to assist the student. A nonprofit sponsorship is specific to North Carolina community colleges and is a state statute granting in-state tuition to lawfully admitted international students. In-state tuition is granted on a semester by semester basis and the nonprofit entity assumes financial responsibility for the student’s tuition for that semester.
  5. How do students find nonprofit sponsors?: COA does not assist in the location of nonprofit sponsors. Students are encouraged to contact local nonprofit entities to determine if they are willing to sponsor a student. Nonprofit organizations are allowed to sponsor a maximum of five students per semester. Local churches, civic organization and community-based organizations are all available options for students. Sponsors must be tax exempted and incorporated in North Carolina.
  6. How often do students have to turn in a nonprofit sponsor letter?: Sponsor letters are due on or before the tuition deadline for each semester. Sponsors will be billed around or after the midpoint of the 16 week semester (around week 8).
  7. Can any nonprofit organization be a sponsor?: Every nonprofit interested in sponsoring a student must be approved by COA. In order to be approved, a student or organization can request a nonprofit sponsorship application. The organization must return the application along with the necessary verification documentation.
  8. What does a nonprofit sponsor letter need to say?: Nonprofit sponsor letters must be on the organizations letter head and must state that the organization is willing to accept financial responsibility for the student’s tuition and fees for the listed semester. The international student’s name must be spelled correctly and the current semester must be listed. The letter must also be signed with the name of the authorizing person listed below the signature.
  9. Can a student make a payment for their tuition?: If a student is utilizing a nonprofit sponsor they cannot make a payment on their account. The sponsor organization will be billed and payment is to be made using a check from the organization.


Email: [email protected]