History & Overview

The U.S. Department of Education (DoE) created the College Access Challenge Grant Program (CACG) to foster partnerships among federal, state and local governments and philanthropic organizations through matching challenge grants that are aimed at increasing the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education.

DoE awarded North Carolina the College Access Challenge Grant starting in 2008. The University of North Carolina General Administration (UNC GA) administers the grant program in collaborative partnerships with the NC Community College System, NC Independent Colleges and Universities, the NC Department of Public Instruction, and the NC State Education Assistance Authority.


NC CACG Objectives

North Carolina has implemented and expanded statewide college access programs to do the following:

1. Provide information to students and families on postsecondary education benefits, opportunities, planning, and career preparation

2. Provide information on financing options, including activities that promote financial literacy and debt management among students and families.

3. Conduct outreach activities for students who may be at risk of not enrolling in or completing college

4. Assist students in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

5. Implement professional development for guidance counselors at middle and secondary schools, and for financial aid administrators and college admissions counselors at institutions of higher education


Grant Information


PR Award Number: P378A080017

$3.7 million


PR Award Number: P378A100017

$3.8 million


PR Award Number: P378A110017

$4.0 million


PR Award Number: P378A120017

$4.1 million



The contents of these North Carolina College Access Challenge Grant website pages were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and no endorsement by the Federal Government is implied.