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Piedmont Advantage Credit Union offers scholarship opportunities, private student lending and 529 College Savings Plans.

No matter what subject they're studying, students in North Carolina and across the U.S. share one basic piece of knowledge: College costs are intimidating. The best way to cover tuition and fees is to begin planning and saving years ahead of time. We will help you get a handle on investment options and student loan options because savings doesn’t always cover it – no matter when you started saving. Make sure your high school senior applies for our Members Come First Scholarship Program. Five, $1,000 college scholarships are awarded each year.

Private Student Loans

  • Use funds for not only tuition. Take care of room & board, books and even computers!
  • College students are busy. We won’t waste your time. Apply in 15 minutes or less.
  • Apply to release your cosigner from your loan after you graduate, make 12 on-time principal and interest payments, and meet certain credit requirements.

Click here for more information 

529 Savings Accounts

  • One of the most popular tax-advantaged college savings options.
  • Contributions grow tax deferred and withdrawals are tax-free at the federal level if the money is used for qualified education expenses. States may also offer their own tax advantages.
  • Includes both college savings plans and prepaid tuition plans.
  • A college savings plan is an individual investment account that lets you direct your contributions to one or more of the plan’s investment portfolios.
  • With a prepaid tuition plan, you purchase tuition credits at today’s prices for use at specific colleges in the future.
  • Participation isn’t restricted by income level and lifetime contribution limits are high, typically $300,000 and up.

Coverdell ESA

  • A Coverdell Education Savings Account is a tax-advantaged education savings vehicle.
  • You can contribute up to $2,000 per year for a beneficiary’s K-12 or college expenses.
  • Contributions grow tax-deferred and earnings are tax-free at the federal level if the money is used for qualified education expenses.
  • You have complete control over the investments in the account.
  • There are income restrictions on who can participate.

Custodial Account (UTMA/UGMA)

  • A custodial account allows a minor to hold investment assets in his or her own name with an adult as custodian.
  • All contributions to the account are irrevocable gifts to your child, and assets in the account can be used to pay for college.
  • When your child turns 18 or 21 (depending on state law), he or she will gain control of the account.
  • Earnings and capital gains generated by the account are taxed to your child each year.

Roth Independent Retirement Account (IRA)

  • Though technically a retirement account, some parents use Roth IRAs to save and pay for college.
  • For parents age 59½ and older, a withdrawal of earnings is tax-free if the account has been open for at least five years.
  • For parents younger than 59½, early withdrawal penalties do not apply if the withdrawal is used to pay for a child’s college expenses.

Piedmont Advantage Scholarships

  • Our Members Come First Scholarships were created to invest in the future of our members and in the communities they call home.
  • Five $1,000 scholarships are awarded annually.
  • The program is open to any Piedmont Advantage member who is a high school senior and has been accepted into a college or university.
  • The scholarships are administered through the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation. Then you apply through the secure online application portal, you'll also have the opportunity to apply for an additional needs-based loan through the Foundation. Click here to access the application.


Get Some Extra Aid

Need more assistance paying for college? Learn more about our private student loan options to help finance any gaps in school expenses.
Learn More



New to Piedmont Advantage?

If you live, work, worship or attend school in the North Carolina counties of Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Cumberland, Davie, Duplin, Forsyth, Guilford, Iredell, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Pender and Rockingham or employed by one of our many employer companies, you are eligible to join.

Headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and founded in 1949 within the airline industry, Piedmont Advantage Credit Union (PACU) now serves member-owners, who reside, work, worship or attend school in one of the 13 counties it serves in North Carolina or who are employed by one of its many employer companies. These 13 counties are Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Cumberland, Davie, Duplin, Forsyth, Guilford, Iredell, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Pender and Rockingham. A nonprofit cooperative financial institution, PACU has 10 branches throughout its service regions and employs a workforce of over 120.

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