North Carolina: Carolina Covenant Paves Way For Aid Nationwide

"After nine years of helping students from low-income backgrounds, UNC’s promise of providing a debt-free education is serving as a model for universities across the nation," The Daily Tar Heel reports. "Shirley Ort, associate provost and director of the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid, proposed the Carolina Covenant in 2003. She envisioned giving incoming students who came from households in the 100-percent poverty level the ability to attend UNC, which might not have been possible otherwise. As the first public university to adopt a program like Carolina Covenant, UNC has served as a model for many other universities hoping to aid students from low-income backgrounds. ... More recently, Amy Barnhart, director of Wright State University’s Office of Financial Aid, has been in contact with Ort about using Carolina Covenant as a model for a similar program at her school. Barnhart, who is in the process of creating a proposal to submit to WSU’s president, first heard about the Covenant program at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators in July after attending Ort’s presentation on how to best serve students from low-income backgrounds. 'I fell in love with the program because it’s not just a financial aid program,' Barnhart said. 'It helps students with all different types of need. It’s not getting students to college, it’s getting them through college.'"

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