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UNC-system BOG approves Hurricane Florence grant program


The UNC-system Board of Governors met Thursday to discuss finances, especially those regarding recovery funds for universities in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

The BOG Committee on Budget and Finance approved the N.C. General Assembly appropriation of $2 million to the board to establish the Hurricane Florence Emergency Grant Program for Postsecondary Students.

Kimberly Van Noort, the UNC-system senior vice president for academic affairs and chief academic officer, said the program will provide emergency micro-grants of up to $1,250 for each eligible student in the UNC system who suffered financial hardship due to Hurricane Florence.

“This includes students who attend the universities in the federally designated disaster areas, but also includes students maybe attending other universities but whose primary residence is in those impacted counties,” van Noort said. “We heard from many of our schools about students that came from Cumberland County, that came from New Hanover County, and we're having difficulty getting back to their universities, had lost things while they were at home.”

UNC-Chapel Hill will receive over $128,000 from the grant program. 

The micro-grant program comes in addition to the $30 million that the N.C. General Assembly appropriated to the board in October for repairs to damaged campus facilities at Fayetteville State University, UNC-Pembroke and UNC-Wilmington. The board estimated the total cost of the storm’s impact at UNC institutions to be $154 million, with impact at UNC-Chapel Hill totaling over $1.7 million. 

The committee on public affairs also introduced Wednesday the possibility of asking the state legislature to allow Appalachian State University, UNC-Charlotte and East Carolina University to offer athletic scholarships with in-state rates for out-of-state students. The discussion is in early stages and may not even become a formal proposal, said BOG spokesperson Josh Ellis.

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