In 2006, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill launched the Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program to enable more community college students to transfer to and to graduate from Carolina. C-STEP focuses on high school seniors and first year community college students. Carteret Community College is one of a handful of partner community colleges across the state to offer the Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program. C-STEP targets low-to-moderate income students and provides them opportunities to excel at the community college for two years and then matriculate to UNC -Chapel Hill to complete a bachelor’s degree. Admission to Carolina is guaranteed to these high-achieving students provided they complete an Associates in Arts or Associates in Science degree with at least a 3.2 GPA and fulfill other specific program requirements. C-STEP students participate in cultural, social, leadership, volunteering and academic activities along with intensive advising to prepare them for life at Carolina. This collaborative effort will ensure that C-STEP students feel “firmly planted” at Carolina almost immediately upon transferring there. These transfer students will be academically prepared and fully engaged in the campus community – both are strong indicators of student success.
An important consideration for many students interested in transferring to a four-year university is how to pay for their education. Once enrolled in C-STEP, Carteret Community College and UNC – Chapel Hill attempt to meet 100% of every student’s demonstrated financial need through scholarships, grants, loans and work-study programs. In addition, qualified students are eligible for Carolina Covenant Scholars – a landmark program at UNC that enables students from low socioeconomic backgrounds to graduate with minimal debt from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Entry into the program is competitive and is based on numerous factors including, but not limited to, demonstrated financial need, community involvement, diversity, demonstrated ability to overcome obstacles, family responsibilities and academic excellence.