The Carolina Covenant A bridge to higher education

Supporting our Tar Heels

As the nation’s first public university, Carolina is widely recognized as a leader in U.S. public higher education for its commitment to accessibility and affordability. The University is dedicated to pioneering initiatives to make college more affordable and keep costs low for every student.

The Carolina Covenant is a hallmark of those efforts.

Launched in 2004, this groundbreaking initiative gives eligible students whose household income is less than 200% of the federal poverty level the opportunity to graduate from Carolina debt-free through a combination of grants, scholarships and a work-study job. Scholars also have access to mentoring and a host of other supports to help them thrive personally, academically and professionally.

The program has dramatically improved on-time graduation among the University’s lowest-income students, transforming individual lives and building a stronger, better Carolina.

  • 10,000+students supported by the Carolina Covenant since 2004
  • 80%of Carolina Covenant Scholars since 2004 have been from North Carolina
  • 4.0+is the average high school GPA of incoming Covenant Scholars
  • ~10%of all undergraduate students are Covenant Scholars
  • 70%+of Carolina Covenant alumni have gone on to enroll in graduate school
  • 70+faculty and staff mentors who support and guide scholars

Through the Carolina Covenant, thousands of talented students, who otherwise would not have been able to afford Carolina, have come to our University and made it better through their experiences and contributions. They then carry their Carolina education with them wherever they go.

Candice Powell ’06, ’21 (Ph.D.), director of the Carolina Covenant

Read more about the impact of the Carolina Covenant

My parents don’t make enough money to pay for my college out of pocket. I didn’t have anything to fall back on, so for me, it was either community college or no college at all. If it weren’t for the Carolina Covenant and the donors who support it, a great university education wouldn’t be on the table for me at all.

Alex Acosta, junior and Carolina Covenant Scholar

Alex Acosta

Meet current scholars and program alumni