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Who Should Apply



We are looking for rising high school seniors who have shown outstanding academic ability, especially those from backgrounds that are underrepresented in post-secondary education. This includes students from underrepresented populations, such as American Indian, African American, Hispanic/Latinx and Asian American backgrounds. We also welcome prospective first-generation college students, students from rural communities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. While these are our target audiences, Project Uplift and Uplift PLUS are open for anyone to attend.


In order to be eligible to apply to the 2024 Project Uplift and Uplift PLUS programs, applicants must be a current high school junior or a student who will be graduating from high school during or before the summer of 2025 and planning to enroll as a first-year student in college in the fall of 2025.

Project Uplift accepts applicants from ALL U.S. states and territories. Uplift PLUS, however, is only for North Carolina residents.

Academic Achievement:

Students should be academically motivated and be enrolled in a curriculum that includes foreign language, advanced mathematics, and honors courses. In addition to Project Uplift, particularly high-achieving students should consider participating in the Uplift PLUS program if they are a North Carolina resident. Uplift PLUS applicants should take college-level courses such as Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate ® (IB), or Dual Enrollment. Students should show active involvement in extracurricular activities and have demonstrated leadership.

Selection Criteria:

The Project Uplift and Uplift PLUS team reviews all applications holistically. Our staff understands that students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and with different educational and extracurricular opportunities. As a result, the essays are important parts of the application.


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is committed to the equality of educational opportunity. The University does not discriminate in offering access to its educational programs and activities on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status. The Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (214 W. Cameron Avenue, CB #9160, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-9160 or 919-966-3576) has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the University’s non-discrimination policies.