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UNC-Chapel Hill announces free tuition program for some in-state students

South Building and the Old Well, UNC Chapel Hill
Dave DeWitt
South Building and the Old Well, UNC Chapel Hill

UNC-Chapel Hill is introducing a new financial aid program to offer free tuition and required fees to incoming undergraduate students from North Carolina whose families make less than $80,000 a year.

The university announced the program in a campus-wide email today from UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz. The offer will be extended beginning with the incoming class in 2024.

"We want the best students to know that a UNC-Chapel Hill education is a possibility for them," Guskiewicz wrote.

This announcement comes in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision limiting the use of race in college admissions nationwide, stemming from a case involving UNC-Chapel Hill.

"Our responsibility to comply with the law does not mean we will abandon our fundamental values as a university," Guskiewicz wrote. "We are and will remain passionately public, and we will ensure that every student who earns admission to Carolina can come here and thrive."

The statement said the university will follow the Supreme Court’s decision in all respects, meaning that race will not be a factor in admissions decisions.

"It also means we will comply with the court’s ruling that an applicant’s lived racial experience cannot be credited as 'race for race’s sake,' but instead under some circumstances may illuminate an individual’s character and contributions," the statement said.

The university said it will also hire additional outreach officers for its admissions team to recruit students from under-resourced communities.

The new program will build on a tradition established by programs such as the Carolina Covenant and Blue Sky Scholars.

More details about the program will be released in the coming weeks, according to the university.

Liz Schlemmer is WUNC's Education Reporter, covering preschool through higher education. Email:
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