The Carolina Covenant celebrates 15 years

Through a combination of grants, scholarships and work-study jobs, the Covenant provides eligible low-income students the opportunity to graduate from Carolina debt-free.

Through a combination of grants, scholarships and work-study jobs, the Covenant provides eligible low-income students the opportunity to graduate from Carolina debt-free.

When the Carolina CovenantOpens in new window launched in 2004, it was the first program of its kind to be adopted by a public university. Through a combination of grants, scholarships and work-study jobs, the Covenant provides eligible low-income students the opportunity to graduate from Carolina debt-free. Covenant Scholars receive more than financial aid — mentoring, academic and personal support, social events, alumni workshops and more help students graduate with the skills to succeed.

The Carolina Covenant comes full circle

High school counselor Jessica Redmond ’13 gives back every day through her chosen career. Her own high school counselor encouraged Jessica to apply to UNC-Chapel Hill, but with two siblings already in college, she wasn’t sure her family could afford the tuition. Her counselor helped her apply for aid, and Jessica received the Carolina Covenant Scholarship.

She majored in psychology and immediately began giving back by signing up for the Carolina College Advising Corps, which places recent graduates in public schools in rural and underserved areas of the state to serve as college advisers.

“I knew that when I graduated, I wanted to be in a position where I could give back to others to aid them in that transition,” Jessica shared.

She went on to obtain two master’s degrees and is now a counselor at Jordan High School in Durham, North Carolina, where she continues to help students realize their college potential. Her Carolina Covenant experience has come full circle — two of her former students enrolled at UNC-Chapel Hill this fall, thanks to the Carolina Covenant’s debt-free opportunity.

Increasing access

More low- and moderate-income community college students are able to transfer to UNC-Chapel Hill, thanks to the Carolina Student Transfer Excellence ProgramOpens in new window. Through partnerships with 13 North Carolina community colleges, C-STEP offers a variety of student support programs to ensure a successful transition. Since its inception in 2006, the program has served more than 800 North Carolina students.

Expanding affordability

The first 20 Blue Sky Scholarships were awarded in the fall of 2019. Launched with a $5 million gift from Erskine Bowles ’67, this scholarship program fills a critical gap by supporting exceptionally qualified North Carolina residents from middle-income backgrounds who qualify for financial aid but do not meet the financial threshold of the Carolina Covenant.

 

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