Applying to C3

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How to Apply

Make sure to submit your C3 application and all required materials by the deadline. C3 applicants do NOT have to submit a regular freshman or transfer application for admission. You only have to submit the C3 application. If you have international high school or college work, you will be required to submit a few additional materials.

  1. Review our deadlines. The application to start in a spring semester opens in September and closes November 1, while applications to start in the fall open in February and are due June 1. We encourage you to apply early.
  2. Complete the Residency Determination Service (RDS) Form. The C3 program is available only to students who qualify as North Carolina residents for tuition purposes. Click to complete your RDS Form and obtain your Residency Certification Number (RCN). You will need your RCN on your C3 application.
  3. Complete the C3 application online. Each section of the application will automatically save as you complete it, so you do not have to complete the application all at one time.
  4. Submit your transcript(s). You will need to submit an official transcript from your high school and each college or university you have attended. Your high school transcript is required only if you are under the age of 21 or have less than 30 transferable college credit hours when you submit your application. Transcripts may be uploaded directly to your application, sent electronically from your high school or college, or mailed to the C3 Office. If you have international high school or college coursework, there are a few additional documents you must provide.
  5. Apply to one of our partner community colleges. To be eligible for the C3 program, applicants must apply and be admitted to or be currently enrolled in an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, or Associate of Engineering program at one of our partner community colleges.
  6. Check your status. You may check the status of your C3 application online. You can see what documents we have received or what information may still be missing. We will also notify you of your final C3 decision through this account.

Dates and Deadlines

To begin C3 in a spring semester:

Application Available September 1
Application Deadline November 1
Decision Notification November 15
Enrollment Confirmation Deadline December 1

To begin C3 in a fall semester:

Application Available February 1
Application Deadline June 1
Decision Notification Rolling release starting in March
Enrollment Confirmation Deadline May 1
(Extended to July 15 if admitted after May 1)

When should I apply?

You can apply to C3 while you are in high school or while you are enrolled in the community college. You should have at least 2 semesters left before completing your Associate Degree.

What is the deadline?

The C3 application deadline for spring semester is November 1, and for fall semester is June 1. But we strongly encourage students to apply as soon as the application opens. All transcripts & application materials must be received by our deadlines to be reviewed for a decision.

When will I hear a decision?

We know the waiting is tough, so we try to respond quickly to your application. Decisions for spring will be released on November 15, and for fall semester will be released starting March 1 through June 15. Decisions will be released through your C3 application status portal.

When would I begin?

We admit new students to C3 each fall and spring semester. In the term that you begin as a C3 student, you would begin at your partner community college (or continue there if you’re already enrolled). You would then transfer to NC State after you complete your Associate Degree. Students admitted should have at least 2 semesters at the community college to receive one full year of C3 advising.

Transfer Timing

Good advising makes your transfer experience better, so we require students to be in C3 at the community college for one full year before transferring into an NC State degree. C3 students must, at the effective term of their admission into C3, be enrolled in their community college for at least two more semesters before completing their associate degree and transferring to NC State. If you’re nearly done with your associate degree, you should consider applying directly for transfer admission.

So when can I transfer through C3?

We admit new students to C3 each fall and spring semester, so you could start very soon! In the term that you begin as a C3 student, you would begin at your partner community college (or continue there if you’re already enrolled). Students admitted must have at least 2 semesters remaining at the community college to receive one full year of C3 advising.

What We Look For

Admission into the C3 program is competitive. We accept 15 students per community college each year. While academic factors such as your past high school or college work provide a strong indicator of your future academic success and are very important in our review process, we consider your whole story. We also want to hear how your background and life experiences have shaped you into the person you are today and influenced your desire to obtain a degree from NC State.

For high school seniors with no college coursework

We are looking for strong grades and challenging courses throughout your years of high school.  We are also looking for students who finish strong in their final two years of high school.

For high school seniors with college coursework (CCP or other dual-enrollment courses)

In addition to considering your performance in your high school courses, we will also evaluate your performance in the college courses you have already completed.

For current community college students

Community college students should be enrolled in an Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.), or Associate of Engineering (A.E.) degree program at one of our partner community colleges.  You should have completed less than 30 transferable college semester hours when applying to C3, and you must have at least 24 semester hours remaining in your A.A., A.S., or A.E. program. You must be eligible to return to each institution you previously attended.  If you have attempted coursework at NC State, you must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 or higher on your NC State work.

For Early College students

Early college students should apply between the second semester of their junior/3rd year of high school and the 2nd semester of their senior/4th year of high school. Early college students must complete the 5th year of high school to participate in C3. In addition to the standard C3 requirements, you will be required to submit a letter of recommendation from an early college high school or community college administrator (principal, counselor, dean, or teacher). If you’re admitted as an early college student through C3, you would be considered a transfer applicant, not a first year student. So you would not be eligible or considered for freshman/first-year scholarships.

For Military Connect Applicants

Military Connect provides additional advising and support for military-affiliated students from partner community colleges located near NC military bases and posts. With close ties to NC’s military base communities, these partner schools work closely with C3 to support students through the unique challenges that come with military transfers and deployments.


  • Military veterans
  • Active duty service members within 12 months of separation
  • Dependents of active duty service members (regardless of separation date)
  • Dependents of veterans (within 3 years of veteran’s discharge date)
  • Attending or planning to attend one of our C3 Military Connect partner community colleges
  • Completed less than 30 hours of college-level work
  • Demonstrated potential for academic success

SAT/ACT Scores

While test scores are NOT required for admission into the C3 program, we will consider scores if you provide them.  Test scores will not negatively impact a student’s application, but strong scores could help to make an applicant more competitive.

Your background and opportunities

We consider first-generation status, family socio-economic background, and rural area background. We consider obstacles that applicants may have overcome to get to where they are today. We also recognize that not everyone’s path to a 4-year degree began right out of high school, so we consider other life experiences such as serving in the military, starting your own business and balancing work and family responsibilities while going to school.

Your individual story

We want to hear from you about distinctive experiences, skills, challenges, or successes you may have had.  If you have a unique circumstance that may have affected your past academic performance or helped to define your future educational goals, we encourage you to share your story.

Additional criteria may be used to address critical needs in STEM and STEM education fields and encourage diversity per the University strategic plan.

Information for Students with International Coursework

If you have high school or college coursework from outside the United States, you will  be required to submit a few additional materials.

If you have a high school coursework outside the U.S., you must submit an official copy of your high school transcript. Records not issued in English must be accompanied by the English translation that is certified by an appropriate school official, official translator, or U.S. embassy or consulate official.

Applicants who have completed any university coursework outside of the U.S. will need to submit a course-by-course evaluation, along with an official transcript, completed by one of the following NACES-accredited foreign credential evaluation services:

To be considered official, documents must be sent directly to NC State from the issuing institution or they must be certified as true copies by an official of the educational institution, an embassy official, or an appropriate government official.