Funding Priority

The Carolina Edge

The Carolina Edge is the University’s bold commitment to raise $1 billion to support academic excellence and create opportunity through scholarships and fellowships for students at every level — from undergraduate and graduate students to those in our professional schools. The Carolina Edge will ensure that Carolina continues to set the bar for student achievement by recruiting and enrolling the very best scholars from North Carolina and beyond.

Signature Initiatives


The growing need for undergraduate scholarship support in the wake of COVID-19

As the nation’s first public university, UNC-Chapel Hill has embodied the promise of American higher education for more than two centuries. That promise rests on a single premise: Every student who has done the hard work to gain admission to Carolina, gets admission to Carolina — regardless of their financial circumstances.

Remaining true to this promise comes at a financial cost, and that cost has only become more daunting in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We anticipate COVID-19’s impact will result in needing up to an additional $15 million in aid in 2020-21, which would represent a 18% increase over the prior year.

With more deserving students than ever demonstrating more need than ever, and with fewer public resources to support them, private philanthropy is ever more critical to meeting our commitment.

Scholarships Benefit The Entire Campus

Scholarships enable us to recruit the strongest students from all backgrounds to Carolina. These talented, hard-working students bring a range of life experiences that enrich the education of everyone around them.

We work hard to keep Carolina affordable while providing excellence at all levels. That record of commitment has enabled us to attract the best students from across North Carolina, the nation and around the globe. To remain true to our commitment, we must offer privately funded scholarships. In every case, we intend to give our students the edge they need.

Specifically, we aim to raise undergraduate support for the Carolina Covenant, middle income scholarships through the Blue Sky Scholars program, merit scholarships and student-athlete scholarships; and fellowships and grants for graduate and professional students.

Carolina Edge Virtual Series

Learn how privately supported scholarships – across all areas of campus – allow Carolina to recruit the best and brightest at every level. Plus, explore the changing landscape of need-based scholarship and aid programs in the wake of COVID-19. Find out how your gift can make an impact on the lives of our rising generation.

1 in 10 undergraduates are Carolina Covenant Scholars.

Aid Brings Talent

Top universities invest in student aid. Not just because it’s a measure of fairness and opportunity, but because it guarantees the strongest possible class of students — the best and brightest who apply, not just the best who can pay.

That, in turn, drives every other measure of institutional excellence. Faculty are drawn by the chance to work with great students. Graduate students are drawn by the chance to teach and research alongside talented undergraduates.

Support Drives Graduation Rates

Targeted aid and scholarships also help improve student success. Programs such as the Carolina Covenant help ensure that low-income students have the resources to focus on their academics and extracurriculars — and achieve on-time graduation.

Graduate and professional students account for 36% of total enrollment at Carolina


Kaia graduation

Combining Disciplines for Success

“For me, not having to choose one of my interests over another was a really great aspect of the program.”

Professor teaching online class
Global Impact

Collaborating across an Ocean

Drama course brings together students from multiple countries to discuss performing arts throughout the pandemic

Dr. Moray and students
Student Support

Helping Students Reach their Full Potential

Gift toward initiatives that address food insecurity will help Carolina students succeed

Claire Johnson conducting research

Continuing Environmental Research

Former field site student awarded prestigious fellowship to continue her research


Women Supporting Women

FORevHER Tar Heels initiative fosters meaningful connections among female student-athletes

Giulia Heyward
Student Support

Unprecedented ‘Times’

UNC Hussman student named New York Times Fellow

    Support Scholarships Through The Carolina Edge

    There is no greater catalyst for opportunity in our society than educating the next generation. By supporting scholarships through the Carolina Edge you will help ensure financial resources do not hinder our ability to fulfill Carolina’s role in this great mission.

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