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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Carolina College Advising Corps

  • FAFSA Season is Here!

    FAFSA Season is Here!

    FAFSA season is in full swing, and advisers are trained and ready to help students fill out their application for federal aid! During December, advisers underwent two days of intensive training to ensure they know the in’s and out’s of the form and can help students fill it out correctly.


    Read below for a highlight on the advisers in Surry County and the programs they are offering to familiarize students and families with financial aid:

    Carolina College Advising Corps holds special events in Surry County to promote financial aid for college

    UNC-Chapel Hill advisers offer eight sessions (including one in Spanish)


    (Chapel Hill, N.C. – Jan. 15, 2015) – Advisers with the Carolina College Advising Corps at Surry County high schools are banding together to educate students about financial aid for college and the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is used to determine a student’s eligibility for state and federal financial aid.


    To help promote the importance of FAFSA and financial aid for college, Surry County advisers are hosting events in a variety of venues, from basketball games to media centers to cafeterias. (See list below).


    Funded by grants and private gifts and based in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at UNC-Chapel Hill, the Corps places advisers in schools in counties with heavy populations of low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented students. The 42 advisers in 59 high schools are close in age and circumstance to the students they serve, and the Corps aims to increase college-going rates at partner high schools. Last year, the Corps helped 4,110 high school seniors submit more than 16,000 applications to college.


    Every year the federal government offers $150 billion in financial aid for college students. High school seniors should submit their FAFSA the spring before they enter college to be considered for financial aid, including grants, loans and work study programs. The FAFSA can also be used by individual colleges to determine institutional grants and scholarships. Students may start their FAFSA today and should submit it as soon as possible because financial aid in North Carolina is awarded on a first come, first served basis.


    “Contrary to a common myth, there is no income cut-off to qualify for financial aid.” said Avery Keese, adviser for East Surry High School and Surry Central High School. “We encourage all students to complete a FAFSA because no one should miss out on the life-changing opportunity of college due to concerns about affordability.”


    Students with questions may attend any of the events below or contact an adviser directly.


    “FAFSA Madness” Information Table:

    • Surry Central vs. North Surry basketball games—Friday, Jan. 16 at Surry Central High School
    • Mount Airy vs. Surry Central basketball games—Wednesday, Jan. 21 at Mount Airy High School


    Financial Aid Night in Spanish:

    • Thursday, Jan. 22, 6:00 p.m. at Mount Airy High School (media center)


    County-wide Financial Aid Night with CFNC and Surry Community College:

    • Monday, Jan. 26, 6:30 p.m. at Surry Community College (Grand Hall)


    East Surry Financial Aid Nights:

    • Tuesday, Jan. 27, 6:00 p.m. at East Surry High School (Room 1)
    • Wednesday, Jan. 28, 6:00 p.m. at East Surry High School (Room 1)


    Mount Airy Financial Aid Night:

    • Monday, Feb. 2, 6:30 p.m. at Mount Airy High School (media center)


    North Surry Financial Aid Night:

    • Tuesday, Feb. 3, 6:30 p.m. at North Surry High School (media center)


    Surry Central Financial Aid Night

    • Thursday, Feb. 5, 6:00 p.m. at Surry Central High School (cafeteria)




    For more information about any of the events, please contact:

    Elkin High School: 336-835-3858

    Surry Early College High School: 336-386-3621


    East Surry High School: 336-368-2251

    Surry Central High School: 336-386-8842


    Mount Airy High School: 336-789-5055

    North Surry High School: 336-789-5147


    For more information on the Carolina College Advising Corps, or to arrange an interview with a local adviser or principal in another area, please contact:



  • College Knowledge Month at Cochrane Collegiate Academy

    College Knowledge Month at Cochrane Collegiate Academy

    November was College Knowledge Month at Cochrane Collegiate Academy. For the month surrounding College Application Week (November 10th-14th), adviser Karen Obando invited her students, faculty and staff to fully engage with college.


    College Knowledge Month included classroom presentations, visits to college campuses, College Application Week, and a college night including performances by student groups from universities in the Charlotte area. You can learn more about Karen Obando, college adviser at Cochrane Collegiate Academy here.

  • Celebration of the Carolina Corps

    Celebration of the Carolina Corps

    On Friday, Nov. 21, Rockingham Country High School graciously hosted a celebration of the Carolina College Advising Corps, with UNC Chancellor Carol Folt presiding over the meeting. Advisers expressed their gratitude for being welcomed into the school community.

    Located in Reidsville, North Carolina, the school hosted local officials, legislators, advisers, and students, all of whom came together to reflect on the value that the UNC-Chapel Hill-based Carolina College Advising Corps brings to the area.

    Funded by grants and private gifts and led by Yolanda Keith with assistance from Eric Smith and Meredith Allred, the Corps places advisers in schools in counties with heavy populations of low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students. The Carolina Corps was honored to be joined at the event by three legislators who have served as advocates for college access work: longtime U.S. Congressional Representative Howard Coble, N.C. Senator Phil Berger, and N.C. Representative Bert Jones.

    The Chancellor opened the event by remembering how impressed she was by the students she met as she walked into the high school assembly room during her first visit here in 2013. “You’re the reason we’re here!” she said to the 20 high school seniors who gathered for the event. She then thanked each legislator individually for their support of the Corps and education in general. “The Corps brings a special magic,” she said, “because it builds on advisers who are young graduates and who go to schools and use their amazing energy to reach out to students.”

    Maddy Gloria Representatives

    Adviser Gloria Schoeberle, U.S. Representative Howard Coble, Adviser Madeline Merrill, and N.C. Representative Bert Jones.

    Stephen Farmer, Vice Provost for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions spoke next, commending the numerous local officials for their support of the Corps which has served 5,000 area high school students since its humble beginnings in 2007. “We’re here,” he said, “because of the generosity of the people of Rockingham County.” Today the Corps serves 59 high schools (with 42 advisers) across the state. Local officials in attendance included Rodney Shotwell, Superintendent, Rockingham County Schools (and 2015 N.C. Superintendent of the Year); Richie Weaver, Principal, Rockingham County High School; Elliot Miller, Principal, Reidsville High School; Elaine McCollum, Board Member, Rockingham County Board of Education; William Aiken, Interim President, Rockingham Community College; and Marilyn Payne, Executive Director, Rockingham County Education Foundation.

    Adviser Madeline Merrill surrounded by some of the students she serves.

    Adviser Madeline Merrill surrounded by some of the students she serves.

    Due to strong local support, the Carolina Corps is fortunate that both Rockingham County High School and Reidsville High School are served by just one adviser each (Madeline Merrill and Gloria Schoeberle, respectively). This means that the students served receive even more individual attention as they make plans after high school. During the roundtable discussion, Ms. Merrill spoke movingly about her work with local high school students to help them prepare for and apply to college. “We do our collective best to ensure these students are cared for and to help their dreams come true,” she said. Several Rockingham High School seniors spoke next, giving Ms. Merrill high marks for her energy and the great care she gives to her students.

    The Carolina Corps was joined at the meeting by area education reporters: Jessica Alexander of the Reidsville Review and Roy Sawyer from the Rockingham Update also covered the event.

The Carolina College Advising Corps helps low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented students find their way to colleges that will serve them well. By providing well-trained, enthusiastic advisers who are close in age and circumstance to the students they serve, the program aims to increase college-going rates at partner high schools across North Carolina.


Thomasville 9The Advising Corps is a “near-peer” model

We recruit advisers who are recent graduates of partner colleges/universities.  This allows them to more easily develop relationships with students and serve as both peers as well as role models.



20130913_132638_resized2The Advising Corps builds a thriving college-going culture

Our advisers work in partnership with teachers, counselors and administrators, as an additional staff member whose focus is singularly on improving the school’s college-going culture and ensuring that students apply to and enroll in colleges where they will succeed.



77063The Advising Corps uses a ‘best-fit’ and ‘best-match’ approach

Advisers focus on helping students to identify and apply to post-secondary programs that will best serve them both academically and socially, thus increasing the likelihood that these students will persist to earn their degrees.


Maddy Students CroppedThe Advising Corps increases college enrollment

Initial evaluation of the Advising Corps, conducted by researchers at Stanford University, found that on average, schools served by the Corps see an 8-12% percentage point increase in college-going rates versus control schools in the area.