The Carolina Covenant is a groundbreaking initiative that gives the children of low-income families an opportunity to attend Carolina—without borrowing a penny. The Carolina Covenant enables low-income students to come to Carolina and graduate debt-free if they work on campus 10 to 12 hours a week in Federal Work-Study jobs during their four years here. Carolina was the first public university in America to launch such an initiative.

etownsendStudents who qualify for the Carolina Covenant program are first admitted to the University solely on the basis of their academic qualifications. Only after they are admitted to the University is their financial need assessed and their status as a Covenant Scholar determined. Their family income must be less than 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines (indexed by family size).


The Need

It’s no secret that a college education holds the key to a better future. According to the CollegeBoard, the typical bachelor’s degree recipient can expect to earn about 65 percent more during a 40-year working life than the typical high school graduate earns over the same period.

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It’s also no secret that the ever-rising price tag for a college education threatens to overwhelm the resources of many low-income families, making that key to a better future more difficult to grasp. This is true even for public U.S. universities. The CollegeBoard reports that, for published accounts, tuition and fees at these schools has climbed by an average of 3.4 percent each year over the past decade, adjusted for inflation.

Look no further than the Covenant itself to see the impact of rising college costs: Enrollment in the program has grown from 224 to 724.

The lesson is clear: Bright, hardworking young people from impoverished backgrounds need more and more financial help to fulfill their dream of going to college, and there are more and more of them.

Gift Opportunities

Establish a nameable Carolina Covenant Fund

An expendable gift can be spent immediately to help us cover a need in the near term; an endowment gift supports students forever because your gift is invested, generating perpetual income.

Gift Amounts

Expendable: $50,000, payable over five years, establishes a named expendable fund used to assist with college expenses and programming costs when funding permits

Endowment: $100,000, payable over five years, establishes a named endowment fund used to assist with college expenses and programming costs when funding permits

Contribute to the Carolina Covenant Scholarships General Fund

Gift Amounts

Gifts of any size may be made online to the fund and, because your donation will be expendable, we can use it immediately. That means your generosity will join others’ to add up to make a significant difference right now for deserving and outstanding students who want to attend Carolina—and whom we want on our campus.

Make Your Gift

Please contact Terri Hegeman, director of development for scholarships, student aid and access, at  terri_hegeman@unc.edu or 919-962-4385 to discuss establishing a nameable Carolina Covenant Fund.

You may make an online gift to the Carolina Covenant Scholarships General Fund.


Please contact Terri Hegeman.