Student Support

A prize for access

Carolina is the first public university to receive the Cooke Foundation’s $1 million award, which recognizes success in enrolling low-income students and supporting them through graduation. The Cooke Foundation is a private organization that supports exceptional students from elementary school to graduate school through scholarships, grants and direct service.

Carolina is the first public university to receive the Cooke Foundation’s $1 million award, which recognizes success in enrolling low-income students and supporting them through graduation. The Cooke Foundation is a private organization that supports exceptional students from elementary school to graduate school through scholarships, grants and direct service.

“It’s not just something that we want to do, it’s really something that we must do,” Chancellor Carol L. Folt said. “It is our responsibility to create access and opportunity and open those wide for people to come through and be successful.”

Isai Garcia-Baza ’16, the son of Mexican immigrants who were unable to earn a higher education degree, was raised to believe that college was undoubtedly in his future.

As he got older, he realized the path to higher education would be more challenging—and expensive—than he once thought. Through the Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program and the Carolina Covenant, Garcia-Baza became the first member of his family to earn a college degree this past May.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s years of dedication to provide support and opportunities for thousands of students like Garcia-Baza was recognized when the Jack Kent Cooke FoundationOpens in new window awarded Carolina with the 2017 Cooke Prize for Equity in Educational ExcellenceOpens in new window.

This is story number 82 in the Carolina Stories 225th Anniversary Edition magazine.

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