On the heels of a record-breaking fundraising year in fiscal 2016, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has accepted a $20 million match challenge in support of need- and merit-based scholarships. Running through October 2017, the “Give for Good: Scholarship Challenge” is structured as tandem $10 million matches – one benefiting the Carolina Covenant and the other Morehead-Cain Scholarships – to open the way to a world-class, Carolina education.
The match comes as part of a recent $40 million gift to the University from an anonymous donor. For one of the few remaining U.S. public universities that is truly need-blind during the admissions process, the “Give for Good” challenge, if met, will fund more student scholarship opportunities that epitomize the University’s mission.
“This is a wonderful way to mark Carolina’s 223rd birthday with an incredibly generous gift and the match challenge, which will help us raise additional funds for need- and merit-based scholarships,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “Carolina continues as a leader among public universities at meeting the full financial need of all undergraduate students who qualify for federal aid. We believe that all students should have the opportunity to go as far as their talents and hard work takes them. This initiative will help provide additional scholarship resources for our deserving students.”
Since its founding in 1945, the Morehead-Cain Foundation – home of the first merit-based scholarship program in the country – has connected the world’s most talented, high-achieving young minds to a fully funded UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate experience. More than 3,100 scholars have benefited from the program since its inception, channeling academic and leadership potential to positively and profoundly impact the lives of others, beginning on campus.
Launched in 2004, the Carolina Covenant scholarship program is a groundbreaking initiative that affords children of low-income families – many of whom are first-generation students – an opportunity to attend Carolina without borrowing a penny. The program supports UNC-Chapel Hill’s mission of staying truly public and provides intellectually driven, hard-working young individuals from low-income backgrounds the chance to study at one of the most prestigious public universities in the country – and the freedom to pave a future unburdened by college debt. Since its beginning, the scholarship program has enabled more than 6,000 high-performing, low-income students to attend Carolina and graduate debt free.
This giving challenge and the $40 million anonymous donation together continue the strong fundraising momentum into fiscal 2017 amid a growing UNC-Chapel Hill giving culture. The previous fiscal year, which concluded on June 30, 2016, stands as the University’s best fundraising year in history; at $495 million in commitments, it surpassed the previous 2015 record by nearly $50 million.
“We are profoundly grateful for a gift that so deftly aligns with our core values, upholds UNC-Chapel Hill’s commitment to excellence, accessibility, and affordability, and at the same time issues a call to action to others in the Carolina community to help enrich the lives of deserving students and their families,” said David Routh, vice chancellor for university development.