Just one semester into its first year, the Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program will nearly double in size.
At a White House summit on college affordability earlier this month, Chancellor Carol Folt committed to doubling a financial assistance program for science students next academic year. She also committed to expanding the Carolina College Advising Corps, which provides peer-advising to high school students, and increasing the graduation rates of minority students.
The Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program aims to increase the diversity of future science leaders by providing academic and financial support to a cohort of 20 minority students, and Folt aims to increase that number to 40 next year, which will cost $4 million over four years..
“Folt’s commitment to the program is outstanding especially considering the program is in its first year,” said Program Coordinator Lauren Thomas.
The science scholars program is modeled off the Meyerhoff Scholars Program at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. The initiative includes a six-week summer program, said chemistry professor Joe Templeton.
“Last summer, the students were housed in Old East,” said Templeton. “Courses were possibly more challenging because of adjusting to living in the dorm and having their activities restricted.”
Students in the program receive $5,000 each semester for tuition and an additional $5,000 one summer to do science research.
In addition to financial support, students receive academic advising and assistance with applying to graduate school. Students in the program must be pursuing a Ph.D. in mathematics, physics, natural science, engineering or computer science.
The program is not for students who are aiming to go to medical school. Thomas said she believes the program contributes to UNC’s reputation as a science school and not just a place to study medicine.