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February 2010

The UNCG Guarantee

UNCG is starting a scholarship and academic aid initiative, the UNCG Guarantee, which will help eligible North Carolina students graduate with little to no debt.

Chancellor Linda P. Brady announces the UNCG Guarantee, a new initiative that will help our neediest students graduate with as little debt as possible.

Chancellor Linda P. Brady announces the UNCG Guarantee, a new initiative that will help our neediest students graduate with as little debt as possible.

“The goal is to help in-state students demonstrating both need and academic promise to graduate from UNCG in four years with as little debt as possible,” said Chancellor Linda P. Brady at a Feb. 9 press conference announcing the initiative.

UNCG will meet financial needs through a combination of federal, state, university and private grants and scholarships.

“The Project on Student Debt, conducted in 2008, found that 65 percent of UNCG students graduate with debt, and that the average debt per student is $16,326,” the chancellor said. “Despite the fact that UNCG is one of the most affordable universities in the nation, we want to do better for the students who make UNCG their first choice.”

The first UNCG Guarantee scholars in the program will begin in fall 2010. The program addresses the campus strategic plan goals and UNC Tomorrow goals for expanding educational opportunities. It is being created through UNCG's $6 million gift from an anonymous donor who made national headlines in 2009 with gifts to several American universities.

Phase One of the UNCG Guarantee Program will provide support for 30 to 40 first-year students. Given current resources, it is expected that the program can initially fund 130-140 scholars over four years.

“Although these numbers sound promising, this represents Guarantee support for just 12 percent of students who meet eligibility requirements,” Brady said. “The goal is to grow UNCG's capacity to support an ever-increasing number of deserving scholars.”

In this 2009-10 academic year, UNCG has more than 800 students who meet the poverty definition for students with eight family members or less.

Students chosen for UNCG Guarantee will receive a financial aid package that includes funds from the program's newly created Lula Martin McIver Scholarship Endowment, established by the $6 million anonymous gift, and other private gifts, along with federal and state grants. The aid package will include tuition and fees; on-campus room and board; and books, supplies and other educational expenses. Currently, $14,500 per year covers these costs for in-state students.

In addition to financial aid, students will receive an array of academic support services, and a program administrator will develop a customized plan to guarantee their academic success, noted Steve Roberson, dean of undergraduate studies. The UNCG Alumni Association will be a vital partner in administering the volunteer mentor component of the program.

The UNCG Development Office will conduct a fundraising initiative this year to raise additional funds for UNCG Guarantee, according to Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Patricia W. Stewart.

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