North Carolina State Veterans Benefits

North Carolina offers scholarships, hiring preferences, and tax exemptions to veterans living in the state.

By , Attorney · Northeastern University School of Law

North Carolina is home to many veterans of the United States Armed Forces. And the state offers a variety of benefits to resident veterans of every military branch. The veterans benefits you can get from North Carolina are in addition to the veterans benefits available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Veterans and their families living in the "Tar Heel State" can take advantage of special benefits like tax breaks, scholarships, and state hiring preferences. Read on to learn how to take advantage of the special veterans benefits offered by the North Carolina Department of Veterans Affairs.

Educational Benefits for North Carolina Veterans and Their Families

North Carolina offers educational assistance to veterans and their families. Your residency, service record, and disability status will determine the educational benefits available to you and your children. (Learn about the federal benefits available to the families of disabled veterans.)

In-State Tuition Rate for Service Members

If you're an active service member who lives in North Carolina, you can get in-state tuition rates to all public colleges and universities—even if you don't technically qualify as a North Carolina resident. But in-state tuition rates only apply while you're on active duty in the state.

Scholarships for Children of Wartime Veterans

North Carolina offers scholarships to the children of wartime veterans. For your child to be eligible for a veterans dependents scholarship, you must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • you were disabled during wartime
  • you were a POW or MIA, or
  • you were a combat veteran.

The children of military personnel who died during wartime are also eligible for state scholarships. (Peacetime veterans and their families might also be eligible if the veteran's disability (or death) resulted from armed conflict or was suffered during extra-hazardous service.)

If you're a veteran and you meet the above criteria, your child can receive a four-year scholarship (eight academic semesters) to an approved university, college, or technical school in North Carolina, to be used within eight years. To qualify for the scholarship, your child must be:

  • under age 25
  • your natural child (or adopted by you before age 15), and
  • a current North Carolina resident.

In addition, at least one of the following must be true:

  • you were a legal resident of North Carolina at the time you entered into the qualifying period of service (when your wartime service started), or
  • your child was born in North Carolina and has lived exclusively in North Carolina since birth.

How to Qualify for NC's Veterans Scholarships for Dependents

The North Carolina State Scholarship for the Children of War Veterans is broken down into classes based on the status of the veteran parent. The scholarship types and amounts vary depending on the eligibility class you fit into and which of the following types of schools your child will attend:

  • public, community, and technical colleges and institutions, or
  • private colleges (including junior colleges).

Each of the five eligibility classes has different qualifying criteria and available benefit amounts. Some also have only a limited number of annual scholarships available.

Class I-A scholarship eligibility: To be eligible, the student must have a veteran parent who died during wartime service or as the result of a service-connected disability suffered during wartime service.

The Class I-A scholarship provides the following benefits:

  • at private colleges, $7,000 per nine-month academic year, or
  • at public, community, and technical colleges:
    • free tuition
    • room and board allowances, and
    • fee exemptions.

There's no limit to the number of Class I-A scholarships awarded each year.

Class I-B scholarship eligibility: For your child to be eligible for this scholarship, you must have been rated by the VA as 100% disabled due to wartime service, and you must be receiving compensation for that disability. (The children of veterans who were receiving such compensation at the time of death also qualify.)

The Class I-B scholarship provides the following benefits:

  • at private colleges, $2,800 per nine-month academic year, or
  • at public, community, and technical colleges:
    • free tuition and
    • fee exemptions.

North Carolina will award class I-B scholarships to all qualified applicants.

Class II scholarship eligibility: The Class II scholarship is for the children of veterans who are rated between 20% and 90% disabled due to wartime service or who were awarded the Purple Heart. This scholarship offers the same benefits as a Class IA scholarship but is limited to just 100 recipients each year.

Class III scholarship eligibility: To qualify for the Class III scholarship, your child must have a veteran parent who meets one of the following criteria:

  • receives a VA pension for total and permanent disability (or was receiving the pension at the time of death)
  • is a deceased war veteran who was honorably discharged and whose child doesn't qualify for the scholarship under any other class, or
  • served in a combat zone or waters next to a combat zone and received a campaign medal or badge, and the child doesn't qualify for the scholarship under any other class.

Up to 100 Class III scholarships are awarded each year, providing the same benefits as the Class IA and Class II scholarships.

Class IV scholarship eligibility: Your child can qualify for a Class IV scholarship if you were a prisoner of war (POW) or missing in action (MIA). This scholarship provides the same public and private college benefits as the Class IA, Class II, and Class II scholarships to all students who qualify.

How Veterans' Children Can Apply for NC Scholarships

Your child must apply for these North Carolina Scholarships for Children of War Veterans using the online portal. Paper applications are no longer accepted.

Learn more about these scholarships, including application deadlines and documentation requirements, on the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs website ( Or talk to your local Veteran Service Officer (VSO).

State Hiring Preference for Veterans

Because veterans can face difficulties finding work when transitioning back to civilian life, the state government of North Carolina—the state's largest employer—offers preferential treatment and other services to veterans looking for work. The state also allows for military experience to count towards the educational requirements of professional licenses.

Veterans Get Hiring Preferences in Government

Veterans and disabled veterans can receive hiring preferences when applying for state, county, and local government jobs in North Carolina. This preferential treatment extends to all government departments, agencies, and institutions.

To be eligible, you must have received an "other-than-dishonorable discharge." And at least one of the following must be true:

  • you served during a period of war, or
  • you have a service-connected disability due to an injury or illness you suffered during peacetime.

Spouses of disabled veterans and surviving spouses and dependents of veterans who died due to active duty military service are also eligible for hiring preferences.

Qualifying for State Hiring Preferences

To qualify for the veterans hiring preference, you must be capable of doing the job and meet the minimum requirements for the job in the following areas:

  • training
  • education, and
  • experience.

All the military service training or schooling you've received counts toward your qualifications. And any military experience you have that relates to the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the position also counts.

For jobs where numerically scored examinations are used to rank candidates, 10 points will be added to a veteran's civil exam score for all of the following situations:

  • initial jobs
  • job transfers
  • promotions, or
  • reassignments.

For jobs that don't require exams, preference allows you to get credit for each month and year of military training and duty you have that's reasonably related to the position you're applying for (called "military service credit").

If you have more related military experience than the minimal requirement, you'll get additional credit for your military service that isn't related to the job you applied for—up to four years worth. This provision doesn't apply to veterans' families.

To receive veterans preference, you need to submit a DD-214 or discharge papers along with a State Application for Employment to the appointing agency. The agency will be responsible for determining eligibility for the preference.

North Carolina for Military Employment (NC4ME) Program

Another state effort to aid veterans in finding employment is the North Carolina for Military Employment (NC4ME) program. This public-private partnership connects private employers with veterans looking for jobs.

NC4ME focuses on educating business leaders on the value of hiring a military and veteran workforce and teaching small businesses how to hire military personnel. NC4ME also hosts hiring events throughout the year that can put you face-to-face with hiring managers.

You can also use NC4ME resources to connect to education and training opportunities across North Carolina. All NC4ME tools and services are free for veterans, transitioning service members, guard and reserve members, and military spouses. Learn more about how you can benefit from the NC4ME program.

Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemptions

North Carolina gives veterans with a 100% disability rating a special financial benefit—a break on property taxes. If you qualify, the first $45,000 of the value of your home will be exempt from property taxes. For example, if you qualify and your home has an assessed value of $130,000, you'd pay property taxes on only $85,000 of the assessed value.

This exemption is available to honorably discharged veterans who are also:

  • totally and permanently disabled due to a service-connected injury or illness, or
  • getting veterans benefits for specially adapted housing.

To apply, complete Form NCDVA-9: Property Tax Relief for Disabled Veterans and take it to your local Veterans Services office for certification. Once certified, you take Form NCDVA-9 and a completed Form AV-9 Application for Property Tax Relief to your county tax office.

There's also an exemption from personal property taxes for some vehicles. To qualify, you must be a disabled veteran with a car, truck, or van specially equipped to accommodate your service-connected disability. The specially modified vehicle is exempt from personal property tax.

Income Tax Breaks for Veterans in North Carolina

North Carolina offers certain veterans financial benefits when it comes to state income taxes, including tax exemptions and even the cancellation of old tax debts.

VA Benefits Exempt From State Taxes in North Carolina

If you're receiving VA benefits for a service-connected disability, you don't have to report your disability compensation as income for state income tax purposes. Likewise, VA payments made to you under the GI bill are exempt from state taxes in North Carolina.

And some VA grants for disabled veterans are exempt from North Carolina income tax, including the following:

  • motor vehicle grants for veterans who lost their sight or the use of their limbs as a result of military service, and
  • grants for homes designed for wheelchair living.

North Carolina Will Cancel Some Veteran's Back Taxes

If you owed state income tax in North Carolina before you entered military service, you might qualify to have the tax canceled and abated. To be eligible, you must be receiving service-connected disability compensation from the VA.

Under this program, you might even get a refund if you already paid any portion of the tax bill when the state cancels those taxes.

Additional Benefits for Veterans in North Carolina

North Carolina has a robust Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) and offers a variety of benefits for eligible veterans. Some of those benefits include:

  • eligibility for the North Carolina Veterans Home and the state cemetery
  • housing assistance
  • lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, and
  • specially designated license plates.

Learn more about these and other North Carolina veterans benefits on the state's DMVA website.

Updated June 30, 2023

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