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UTOP Participant Fee Assistance Scholarship

Raised toward our $10,000 Goal
20 Donor
Project has ended
Project ended on November 15, at 12:00 AM EST
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UTOP Participant Fee Assistance Scholarship

The University Transition Opportunities Program (UTOP) Participant Fee Scholarship aims to help students from low-income families to pay the required $250 fee to secure a spot in the program.

The UTOP participant fee is submitted by students to cover textbook costs, program supplies, meals, activities, transportation, etc. The $250 participant fee is a major hurdle for students from low-income families when also factoring in orientation costs, Fall semester housing deposits, and other costs and fees associated with students beginning their college careers.

Led by Raven Johnson (UTOP '11, UNCC '15), we are calling upon UTOP alumni, mentors, counselors, and program supporters to assist in making UTOP accessible to students from low-income families.

About UTOP:

Founded by Dr. Herman Thomas, UTOP began in 1986 to facilitate the underrepresented student's transition from high school to college. By involving incoming UNC Charlotte freshmen in a rigorous six-week summer collegiate experience, UTOP builds upon the scholastic abilities of the students through college courses and contact with University academic support and campus life services.

UTOP is an excellent opportunity for incoming freshman students to begin their college experience early, gain seven credit hours towards their degree, start with a solid GPA foundation, get acclimated to campus early and build a support system of peers and staff across campus.

For more UTOP information, please visit the program's website:

UTOP Participant Retention and Graduation:

Research from the past 10 years indicates that students who participate in UTOP were retained after one year at a rate nearly 11 percent higher than underrepresented students who did not attend the program and almost 13 percent higher than all first-time freshmen.     

The percentage of UTOP students who graduated after six years was more than 11.5 percent higher than underrepresented students who did not participate and 10 percent high than all first-time, full-time freshmen.

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UTOP participants develop essential study skills and college survival tips, enhance their knowledge of campus, take part in co-curricular activities, and receive academic advising and monitoring throughout freshmen year.



UTOP mentors are carefully selected upper-class students that play a vital role by providing a mentoring relationship and help students make connections academically, socially and co-curricularly.



UTOP class schedules are designed to establish a solid academic foundation for new college students. Participants gain a head start on adjusting to college life by developing good study skills, living habits and lasting friendships.



UTOP students complete the program with seven credit hours towards their general education requirements and often take leadership roles such as UTOP mentors, SAFE counselors, Student Alumni Ambassadors, orientation counselors, and student government leaders.


Dr. Herman Thomas

Dr. Thomas founded the University Transition Opportunities Program (UTOP) in 1986, bringing incoming students to campus the summer before their freshman year. UTOP is one of the anchor programs at UNC Charlotte geared towards student success, retention, and timely graduation.

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