Skip Navigation
  • Robocall Hotline:(844)-8-NO-ROBO
  • All Other Complaints:(877)-5-NO-SCAM
  • Outside NC:919-716-6000

Criminal Justice Fellows Program

About the Program

The mission of the North Carolina Criminal Justice Fellows Program is to recruit talented high school senior graduates into the criminal justice profession. Each year this program will fund fellowships for high school senior graduates who have exhibited high academic achievement, a history of service to the school and community, and a desire to serve the state of North Carolina in a field within the criminal justice profession.

The N.C. Criminal Justice Fellows Program will provide forgivable educational loans for high school seniors and graduates who agree to enter a criminal justice profession in North Carolina. This fellowship will fund an Applied Associates Degree in Criminal Justice or Committee approved related field of study, from any North Carolina Community College. Students who receive the educational loan would have 5 years to repay, though it would be forgiven if they enter and remain in a criminal justice profession with North Carolina for four years in an eligible county.

Students who graduate under this program in good standing will be given priority to enter a criminal justice training program for certification in an eligible criminal justice profession within the Community College System.

The number of fellowships awarded annually shall not exceed 100 and the total number of students in the program each year shall not exceed 200.

*The application process will open on November 1, 2021.

*Application process will close on May 31, 2022.

CJ Fellows Flyer


Eligible County– is a county with a population of less than 200,000 according to the latest federal decennial census.

Eligibility Requirements: 

  • Must be a high school graduate or high school senior who will graduate by the end of the current academic year.
  • Have the intent upon completion of the program to be employed as a criminal justice professional in an eligible county.
  • An applicant who has been convicted of any of the crimes listed in the CJFP Handbook will be considered ineligible for the Fellowship.



Does the eligible county requirement apply to community colleges located there?

No, a fellow may attend any of the 58 N.C. Community Colleges. They only have to live in at the time of application and go to work in an eligible county.

For example a fellow could reside in Franklin County (an eligible county), attend Wake Technical Community College (not located in an eligible county) for their Associate in Applied Sciences Degree and then go to work in Halifax County (an eligible county) for 4 out of 5 years.

I’m taking a year off after I graduate from high school. Will I be eligible for the program?

Yes, the program is open to high school seniors and graduates who would like to enter the criminal justice profession in eligible counties.

How do state agencies fall into the eligible county requirement?

If a fellow chooses to work for a state agency he/she must request the agency post them in an eligible county.

There is a requirement that I must be a full-time student while in the program. What if I don’t need the full class credit requirement for the program in order to graduate in two years? For example, if I already earned college credit in high school?

If you do not need to be a full-time student in order the finish your Associate’s Degree in two years you may apply for a waiver for the full-time requirement.

If I fail a class, when I retake it, will the program pay for it?

No, we will not pay for you to retake classes you have failed. However, you may pay for the class on your own.

What does it mean if I’m in default?

Default is defined in the law under 17C-23.e

Default – The Committee shall determine the events that constitute a default during the Program, including, but not limited to, failure by the recipient to comply with the obligations set out in G.S. 17C-22(h). In the event of default during the Program, the Committee may declare the entire unpaid amount of indebtedness evidenced by the note, including interest, immediately due and payable. A default shall preclude further participation by the recipient in the Program. Upon default, the Committee shall notify the recipient, in writing, by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the recipient at the last address on file with the Committee. Refusal or nondelivery at that address will be deemed delivered after seven days. The Committee may allow a recipient who is in default to repay all funds distributed, including interest. If the Committee approves repayment, the recipient will receive the conditions of repayment and will have 60 days to begin repayment of all funds distributed, including interest. The recipient will have up to 60 months to repay all funds distributed, including interest.

What does it mean if I’m in repayment?

Repayment is also defined in the law under 17C-23.d

Repayment – If the recipient notifies the Committee that the recipient intends to forego forgiveness of the loan after completion of the Program, the Committee shall provide the recipient with the conditions of repayment and the recipient will have 60 days to begin repayment of all funds distributed, including interest. The recipient will have up to 60
months to repay all funds distributed, including interest.

What does residency mean?

Residency in an eligible county is defined in the law under 17C-22.c
The applicant must be “a resident for tuition purposes as defined in G.S. 116-143.1(a)

According to G.S. 116-143.1(a) (2), “a ‘resident for tuition purposes’ is a person who qualifies for the in-State tuition rate. To qualify as a resident for tuition purposes, a person must have established legal residence (domicile) in North Carolina and
maintained that legal residence for at least 12 months immediately prior to his or her classification as a resident for tuition purposes. Every applicant for admission shall be required to make a statement as to his length of residence in the State.”

Based on this state law, an applicant must have lived in an eligible county for 12 months.

The CJFP will require a copy of the applicant’s driver’s license as proof of residency.

I would like to take an online class at another community college. Will the fellowship pay for the class at that college?

No, the fellowship only applies to classes taken at your chosen community college. Any classes you take elsewhere will be your responsibility to pay.

What is the selection process?

The selection process has two parts. Applicants are first graded on their scholastic profile as determined by SAT or ACT scores, grade point average, and class rank when available, potential for excellence in an eligible criminal justice profession, school and community service, at least two references, and demonstrated writing ability. All applications are then presented to the Committee for selection.

Will the fellowship pay for a bachelor’s degree?

No, the fellowship is only for an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Criminal Justice or other committee approved field.

What jobs can I go into under the CJFP?

The fellow can go into any job overseen by either the Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission or the Sheriff’s Standards Commission. These jobs include state and local sworn law-enforcement officers, state correctional officers, and state juvenile justice officers, other correctional officers maintained by local governments, and juvenile justice agencies, sworn Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs, Detention Officers, and Telecommunicators under the direct supervision of a law enforcement agency.

Who can I contact if I have a questions?

Please contact Program Manager Erica Reid at


Criminal Justice Fellows Program
Erica Reid, Program Manager

Phone: (919) 661-5980
Fax: (919) 779-8210


Mail Address:
Criminal Justice Fellows Program
PO Box Drawer 149
Raleigh, North Carolina 27602-0149