Type of Programs

CSO strives to develop our workforce through college access programs available annually.  The programs are designed to promote college success and are heavily contingent upon the availability of funds appropriated by the legislature annually.  Award amounts vary and may or may not change throughout the academic year depending on the annual appropriation, annual applicants, and or the stability of our economy.  These funds are meant to assist CNMI scholars to defray the cost of their higher education.  Scholars are encouraged to apply for various other financial assistance to help cover the entire cost of their education.  Because these funds are annually appropriated, no scholarship, loan, or grant will be processed or disbursed before Oct 1st (the beginning of the fiscal year).

It is crucial when completing the e-Application that the applicant reviews the programs and what best fits their needs.  This will prevent delays in the eligibility review and may even prompt a denial for selecting the wrong type of program.

The following programs are available to any eligible Northern Mariana Islands residents enrolled in the current academic year:

High School Program:

Commonwealth College Access Grant (CCAG) is for eligible high school students in their junior or senior year who are enrolled in the dual Enrollment Program or Early Enrollment Program at Northern Marianas College.  

Undergraduate Programs:

Educational Assistance Program Base (EAP Base Grant) is for eligible CNMI residents enrolled full-time and who meet the requirements for pursuing an undergraduate degree. (Commonwealth Register Rules & Regulations Link)

Marianas Employees Financial Aid (MEFA) is for full-time employees within the Commonwealth who are pursuing an undergraduate degree and are enrolled part-time at NMC or a qualified online program.  Proof of full-time employment is required. 

The following are secondary aid for EAP Base Grant and MEFA:

WICHE Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) Program allows CNMI resident students to pay no more than 150% of in-state tuition at participating schools.

Nursing School Scholarship (NSS) is a special scholarship available for nursing students pursuing an associate degree at NMC or an accredited off-island institution.  Applicants must be able to produce an acceptance letter into the nursing program at their institution.

Trade School Program:

Vocational and Trade Aid (VocAid) is given specifically to eligible residents pursuing a trade/vocational or technical certificate at an institution within the Commonwealth or at any U.S. accredited institutions in the United States or its territories.   

Graduate & Postgraduate Programs:

Graduate School Student Loan (GSSL) is a student loan available for eligible CNMI residents pursuing their graduate/postgraduate studies within or outside of the Commonwealth or eligible online program. 

WICHE Western Regional Undergraduate Program (WRGP)  allows master’s, graduate certificate, and doctoral students who are residents of the CNMI to enroll in more than 400 high-quality programs at 60 public institutions outside of their home state and pay resident tuition.

WICHE Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP) is a Support Fee (tuition) for students pursuing a professional degree in the following fields:


Last Updated 10/16/2023