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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
  • 48%of Covenant Scholars graduated in the top 10 in their high school class
  • 10%+of all undergraduate students today are Covenant Scholars
  • 70%+of Carolina Covenant alumni have gone on to enroll in graduate school
  • ~80faculty and staff mentors who currently 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

Coming from an immigrant household and hoping to become a first-generation college student, I was like, ‘There’s no way that any college is going to feel like home.’ That changed when I came to Carolina. Having the Carolina Covenant has empowered me to pursue all these different opportunities at UNC.

Juan Castro, Carolina Covenant Scholar

Juan casto in a class.

Meet current scholars and program alumni