Middle-income students make up the majority of North Carolinians who receive need-based aid at Carolina. For every low-income student eligible for the Carolina Covenant, there are two middle-income students supported by other forms of institutionally funded aid. That’s what motivated alumnus and former UNC System president Erskine Bowles to help launch the Blue Sky Scholars program.
Carolina will expand its commitment to access and affordability for North Carolina families with the new $25 million Blue Sky Scholars initiative to provide financial aid for middle-income undergraduate students from North Carolina. Launched with a $5 million gift from Bowles, the University aims to raise an additional $20 million to grow the program.
“Carolina has a rich history of serving the people and state of North Carolina,” Bowles said. “The Blue Sky Scholars program is designed to serve more North Carolinians. Not only are we helping prepare tomorrow’s leaders, we’ll help them hit the ground running in a modern workforce and without burdensome college debt.”
The new initiative fills an important gap by supporting exceptionally qualified, North Carolina residents from middle-income backgrounds who qualify for financial aid but do not meet the requirements for the Carolina Covenant. In addition to scholarship support, Blue Sky Scholars will receive:
- $2,500 per year in work-study employment
- A one-time enrichment award of $2,500 to support internships, study
abroad or other opportunities that enhance their Carolina experience and;
- Access to academic, personal and career support
“This distinctive program expands Carolina’s commitment to excellent, affordable higher education for the hardworking people in our state,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “Thanks to a generous lead gift from Erskine Bowles, we will make the promise of a Carolina education possible for even more students and their families, regardless of their ability to pay.”