Carolina Covenant

Carolina Covenant

about the covenant

If you are from a family with a total income that is at or below 200% of the poverty guideline, you may qualify for the Carolina Covenant, an aid program that provides an opportunity to attend and graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill debt-free. Your eligibility is automatically assessed when you complete your financial aid applications.

Covenant covers full financial need through grants, scholarships and work-study — no loans. The program also offers academic and personal support to help you get the most out of UNC and graduate on time.

If you are a dependent student, in-state and out-of-state, you will be considered. You will also be considered if you are an independent student from North Carolina, but out-of-state independent students are not currently considered. You must also meet citizenship requirements and other eligibility standards for federal financial aid.

You will only be considered for this type of aid as an incoming first-year or transfer student, but once you are a Covenant Scholar, you remain one for your undergraduate career at UNC-Chapel Hill. Aid is reevaluated annually, and substantial changes in a family’s financial circumstances can result in a change in the total amount of aid. If you are a returning Covenant scholar, you need to be sure to complete the FAFSA on time each year. You do not need to do the CSS Profile after the first year, unless you have been away from school for greater than one academic year.


Notification of Carolina Covenant Scholar Status

If you qualify for the Covenant, you will receive an electronic notification from the Director of Scholarships and Student Aid notifying you of your Covenant designation and special award.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Admitted to Carolina as a full-time student
  • Pursuing first undergraduate degree*
  • Making steady progress toward a degree

* Enrolling in professional programs, like the PharmD program, will affect eligibility. Graduate and professional students are not eligible for undergraduate scholarship programs.

  • For independent in-state students, the student’s total income does not exceed 200% of federal poverty guidelines (based on family size; see below).
  • For dependent students, parents’ total income does not exceed 200% of federal poverty guidelines (based on family size). For the 2021-22 academic year, parents’ total income in 2019 did not exceed the amounts below.
  • Amounts listed were established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Poverty Guidelines

Family SizeMax Total Income
*For each additional family memberAdd $8,840


  • Financial need, based on information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the College Board’s CSS Profile application.
  • Limited assets and/or other resources with which to pay for college costs.
  • Eligible for federal student financial aid.

Complete the 2021-2022 FAFSA

The 2021-2022 FAFSA application is available now, be sure to complete it as soon as possible to meet deadlines.

Academic and Personal Support

This program is designed to help you make the most of your Carolina experience. It includes individual academic consulting, mentoring , workshops, social activities, networking connections, and more.

Covenant specific information sessions are held for admitted Scholars as part of the University’s summer orientation schedule to welcome you to Carolina and to provide more information about opportunities available through the Covenant to help you thrive at Carolina.

You will be assigned a faculty/professional staff mentor and a peer mentor during your first year at Carolina. This is a part of the Carolina Covenant experience that has supported thousands of Covenant Scholars along their path to successfully make the most of their college experience, graduate in higher numbers, and enter into high-impact careers and roles in our local, national, and global community.

In partnership with several academic and student support units on campus, the Covenant offers sessions on a range topics for thriving in college in ways that pay attention to your unique background, experiences, needs, and strengths. Examples of programming include workshops on effective financial aid award management in everyday life, understanding academic and career pathways and outcomes, networking events, and engaging in study abroad and other high-impact opportunities at Carolina and beyond. The Covenant also has a Learning Specialist on staff that can support students with skills for effective studying, time management and classroom engagement. The Covenant also offer free GRE, MCAT, and LSAT prep consulting and workshops for our Scholars.

You will be offered the opportunity to attend campus performing arts events. You will also be invited to engage with fellow Scholars at community receptions, festive gatherings and social events, study nights and other events celebrating your journeys and achievements.

Personnel in the Covenant office work closely with other student support units on campus to monitor your individual academic progress and to support your access to opportunities and resources that apply to your individual needs and goals at Carolina.

a strong history

2019 marked the 15th year of Covenant Scholars at Carolina

Carolina Covenant celebrates 15 years. When the Carolina Covenant launched in 2004, it was the first program of its kind to be adopted by a public university. Covenant Scholars receive more than financial aid-mentoring, academic and personal support, social events, alumni workshops and more help students graduate with the skills to succeed. 2004-2019 8,209 total carolina covenant scholars.

Learn More About The Covenant

2021 The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill