Carolina Joins Kessler Scholars Collaborative

Carolina students traverse campus in the foreground with South Building in the background

In the wake of the pandemic, retention and graduation gaps between first-generation, limited-income students and peers from higher-income backgrounds and families with college degrees may widen even further. UNC-Chapel Hill has taken a big step toward closing the gap and ensuring first-generation student success by joining the Kessler Scholars Collaborative. With generous financial support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Judy and Fred Wilpon Family Foundation, the University will receive a $1 million, five-year grant to establish the Kessler Scholars cohort-based model on campus.

Selected as one of 10 American Talent Initiative members to receive this grant, Carolina joins a diverse network of colleges and universities dedicated to supporting first-generation students through direct financial support and cohort-based services.

“At UNC-Chapel Hill, our commitment to affordability, accessibility and opportunity runs deep,” said Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz. “The Kessler Scholars Collaborative expands our commitment to first-generation college students and aligns with our university’s mission and strategic plan — and our priorities as founding members of the American Talent Initiative. We are committed to sustaining the program and serving our students for years to come.”

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