UNC has been chosen to receive the Cooke Prize for Equity in Educational Access and will receive $1 million from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.
The University was selected over Stanford, Brown and Berkeley for this year’s award, which was presented to Chancellor Carol Folt by the foundation’s Executive Director Harold O. Levy. The foundation provides scholarships and grants to further the education of low-income students.
“I’m delighted to announce today that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been selected as this year’s recipient,” he said. “Chapel Hill is doing an outstanding job of admitting and graduating high-achieving, low-income students.”
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Admissions Steve Farmer said he and the University are dedicated to accessible education for low-income students and said UNC plans to show it.
“The University of North Carolina pledges to raise $1 million in private funding to match the Cooke Prize,” he said. “We pledge to use the combined money to extend our recruitment into low-income areas and help prospective students thrive at Carolina and later in life.”
Levy said the programs help students pay for college and navigate the challenges that come with it.
“This University awards 93 percent financial aid based on need,” he said. “Very few colleges do that.”
Levy said his foundation works to help low-income students achieve academic success, and that their motivation and desire to obtain an education is the real reason the program is so successful.
“Once we find these students, 97 percent of them not only finish a four-year degree but go on to obtain a graduate degree,” Levy said. “And we stick with them.”