The Vetters challenged other alumni and community members to join them and raise another $20 million to match their gift, said André Williams, director of Development for Scholarships and Student Aid.
In 2019, UNC enrolled nearly 400 undergraduate first-year and transfer students who had affiliations with the military, according to an article from University Development.
“It’s really cool that they’re really focusing on military-affiliated students because it’s a common fear amongst my peers who are also military about finances,” said Reina Kinnaly, who graduated from UNC this past May with a degree in exercise and sports science.
Kinnaly is from Jacksonville, North Carolina, and comes from a large military family. Her father is a retired veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, and her grandfather was a Navy veteran. She also has an uncle who served in the U.S. Army and another in the U.S. Air Force, as well as an aunt who served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
She said her biggest fear when applying for colleges was that her parents would have to struggle financially in order for her to go to school. With support from Carolina Covenant and Vetter scholarship, Kinnaly said she was able to graduate from UNC without debt.
Williams said the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid aims to limit the financial hurdles of applying to scholarships and aid for veterans and students from military families.
Once a student has been admitted, Williams said the Office puts together financial aid packages for students who demonstrate financial need. These packages can include scholarships, grants, work-study programs and loans.