$20 Million Match Challenge Aims to Fund More Scholarships

On the heels of a record-breaking fundraising year, the University has accepted a $20 million match challenge in support of need- and merit-based scholarships.

An anonymous donor has pledged $10 million each to the Carolina Covenant and to the Morehead-Cain Scholarships while challenging the University, through a “Give for Good: Scholarship Challenge,” to raise another $20 million to match those funds by Oct. 12, 2017.

For one of the few remaining U.S. public universities that is truly need-blind during the admissions process, the challenge promises to fund more student scholarship opportunities that epitomize the University’s mission. The new effort was announced during University Day celebrations, moved to Oct. 11 this year in observance of Yom Kippur.

“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,” Chancellor Carol L. Folt said. “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.”

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 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 the University’s mission of staying truly public and provides intellectually driven, hard-working students from low-income backgrounds the chance to study and face a future unburdened by college debt. Since its beginning, the program has enabled more than 6,000 students to attend Carolina and graduate debt-free.

The 2016 fiscal year, which ended on June 30, 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.


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