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 2023-24 academic year, parents’ total income in 2021 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 $9,080


  • 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.
  • Meet the deadline for University aid consideration.

Complete the 2023-2024 FAFSA

The 2023-2024 FAFSA application is available now, be sure to complete it as soon as possible to meet deadlines.

Network of Investment and Support

The Carolina Covenant Program works with partners across the University to provide Covenant Scholars with outstanding resources and opportunities for intellectual, personal, and professional growth.

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 have the opportunity to be connected to an outstanding personal faculty, peer, and professional staff mentor at Carolina who can provide direct support for your individual interests and goals. Our rich network of mentors represent a wide range of academic departments, professional schools, and administration, and have supported thousands of Covenant Scholars along their path to success at the University and beyond.

In collaboration with several academic and student support units on campus, the Covenant offers a wide range of experiences to support Scholars to thrive in college and prepare for post-college success.  Examples include workshops on effective financial aid award management, understanding academic and career pathways and outcomes, networking events, and direct connections to global study, undergraduate research, service, well-being, and other high-impact opportunities at Carolina and beyond. The Covenant also leverages a rich network of strategic University partnerships to offer graduate school test-prep review sessions and graduate school preparation discussions as well as pathways for high-impact career preparation across a wide array of professions.

Throughout the year, Scholars engage with our program’s mentors, network of career and well-being supports, alumni, and one another at special events, meetings, and gatherings. Covenant Scholars are also connected with one another and share resources in community both in person and on social media. From trivia nights, to workshops, alumni speaker panels, intentionally designed gatherings on high-impact topics and influential spaces, and more, Covenant Scholars are surrounded by a dedicated community of support.

Meet The Covenant Team

We can't wait to hear from you, feel free to reach out.

Guide For Scholars

A guide with everything you need to know about being a Carolina Covenant Scholar.