The 1994 General Assembly appropriated to the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina eight hundred thousand dollars ($800,000) to be allocated equally among the 16 constituent institutions for the purpose of establishing a pilot program to recruit new students to enroll in college in future years who might not be able to attend college without incentives. The fund shall not revert and shall be placed in trust fund accounts, with the investment earnings to be used for the program as well.
College Opportunity Program Mission
The College Opportunity Program will recruit future students who might not otherwise finish high school or continue on to college. The program will provide financial and academic incentives that will encourage socially and economically disadvantaged students to do well in middle grades and high school and enroll in college following graduation. Improvement in academic performance, high school graduation rates, college going rates, and college graduation rates of under-performing students will be principal goals of the program.
Roles and Responsibilities
Board of Governors:
The Board of Governors shall monitor the success of the program in attracting students who otherwise might not have enrolled in a higher education institution and shall monitor the progress of these students with annual reports to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee beginning May 15, 1996, and each succeeding year through 2001.
Each constituent institution shall recruit students in middle grades who meet the eligibility guidelines of the program. The institutions should concentrate their recruitment in the regions designated by counties, but they are not necessarily limited to that region. They will provide enrichment activities that will assist the participants to perform well in high school, to graduate and to enroll in the institution. These activities should include the monitoring of the student's academic progress both in public school and college; mentoring relationships; assistance in goal setting and career planning; academic tutoring; and opportunities for social and leadership development through interaction with parents, public school personnel, University personnel, and community leaders.
Parents or Guardians:
The program requires the involvement of parents or guardians to help create a supportive environment for the student. The program will work with the parents or guardians in helping the student gain the educational preparation necessary to perform well in college. The parents or guardians are required to monitor the academic progress of the student, to meet with program officials at least three times each year, to ensure that the student meets all eligibility requirements in order to remain in the program and graduate, to assist the student in completing all application forms for federal financial assistance during the student's senior year in high school, and to ensure the student meets school attendance requirements of the program.
College Opportunity Program Eligibility Requirements
Students considered for selection to the program must complete an application and meet the following requirements:
1. Be a North Carolina resident;
2. Be a middle grade student;
3. Have parental/guardian consent to participate in the program;
4. Be a first-generation college student and/or come from a family with an annual income that qualifies the family as disadvantaged based on federal guidelines;
5. Agree to enroll in high school courses that meet the minimum admission requirements of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina.
6. Commit to the guidelines and activities of the program by signing an agreement to do the following:
a. Maintain a "B" or better cumulative average in all schoolwork through high school graduation;
b. Maintain a public school attendance rate of 95% or better;
c. Take the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test (PSAT) in the 10th grade;
d. Take the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or the ACT assessment test in the 11th and 12th grades;
e. Participate actively in school co-curricular activities;
f. Demonstrate high personal and scholastic standards;
g. Participate in activities that assist in achieving high academic and leadership standards;
h. Give at least 15 hours of approved community service during each year of program participation;
i. Remain drug free and alcohol free and obey the laws and regulations of the State of North Carolina;
j. Apply for eligible financial assistance no later than the last term of the high school senior year.
The constituent institutions may designate additional eligibility requirements in order to comply with existing regulations.
Each student selected to participate in the College Opportunity Program will be provided first year scholarship assistance that will cover the cost of tuition, fees, and books.
The University of North Carolina
College Opportunity Program
Institution Counties in the Region
Appalachian State University Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell,
Catawba, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes (9)
East Carolina University Beaufort, Craven, Dare, Edgecombe, Greene, Hyde,
Lenior, Martin, Pitt, Washington, Wilson, Pamlico (12)
Elizabeth City State University Camden, Bertie, Chowan, Currituck, Gates,
Hertford, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans,
Tyrrell, Washington (11)
Fayetteville State University Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Moore, Sampson (5)
North Carolina A&T State University Alamance, Montgomery, Caswell, Guilford,
Randolph, Rockingham 6)
North Carolina Central University Durham, Granville, Vance, Warren (4)
North Carolina School of the Arts All Counties (100)
North Carolina State University Franklin, Halifax, Johnston, Nash, Wake, Wayne (6)
UNC Asheville Buncombe, Burke, Rutherford, Henderson,
McDowell, Madison, Polk, Yancey (8)
UNC Chapel Hill Chatham, Orange, Person, Lee (4)
UNC Charlotte Anson, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell,
Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly, Union (10)
UNC Greensboro Randolph, Rockingham, Guilford, Alamance,
Caswell, Montgomery (6)
UNC Pembroke Bladen, Columbus, Richmond, Robeson, Scotland (5)
UNC Wilmington Brunswick, Carteret, Duplin, Jones, New Hanover,
Onslow, Pender (7)
Western Carolina University Clay, Cherokee, Graham, Jackson, Macon, Swain,
Transylvania, Haywood (8)
Winston-Salem State University Davidson, Davie, Stokes, Yadkin, Forsyth, Surry (6)