SUNS Program

Supporting Undergraduate Native Students (SUNS) logo

SUNS Program - Making College Dreams A Reality

What is SUNS?

What is SUNS?

The Supporting Undergraduate Native Students Program, also known as SUNS, is designed to provide financial assistance to income-eligible American Indian students enrolled full-time in an accredited North Carolina-based community college or university and assist them in pursuit of their educational goals. 

 During the fall and spring semesters, the SUNS Program provides incentive payments, scholarships and supportive services to American Indian students based on specific eligibility requirements.

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Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility Requirements

To participate in the SUNS Program, students must meet the following guidelines. Failure to comply with these requirements will result in termination from the SUNS Program. Cartoon image with student showing "My Grades" document.

 
Student Criteria
  • Apply and be determined eligible for the SUNS Program.
  • Maintain full-time enrollment (12 credit hours or more) in a North Carolina-based accredited community college or university, unless they are a senior and will graduate during the 2019-2020 academic year. If a student needs to enroll less than full-time (less than 12 credit hours), eligibility in the SUNS Program would be denied/ terminated. The only exception applies to seniors who are enrolled part-time and will graduate during the 2019-2020 academic year (verification of this status is required). Seniors may be eligible for the SUNS Program if they meet all other eligibility criteria.
  • Submit a copy of an official class schedule within the same month as the start of each semester.
  • Maintain a 2.0 grade point average (GPA)** or greater throughout the program.  Participants must submit a copy of their transcript or grade report within the same month as the end of the semester.
  • Notify the SUNS Program of any changes to telephone number, address or academic status (i.e., add, drop, enroll less than 12 credit hours or official withdraw from the semester) within the same month as the change occurred.
  • Submit all required documentation.
**We understand that students may have a difficult semester from time to time. Therefore, we will allow students to remain on the SUNS Program as long as they are enrolled full-time and the student’s cumulative GPA is a 2.0 or greater.  In addition, the following semester GPA must be a 2.0 GPA or higher. If a student’s GPA for the following semester is below 2.0, their participation in the SUNS Program will be terminated.  Students are not eligible to participate in the SUNS Program if their cumulative GPA is below a 2.0. They would be allowed to reapply once their cumulative GPA meets the 2.0 or greater minimum requirement. Students are not eligible to receive the semester completion incentive payment for any semester their GPA is below a 2.0.
Gross Income Limits
Family Size ** Income
1

$15,613

2

$21,138

3

$26,663

4

$32,188

5

$37,713

6

$43,238

7

$48,763

8

$54,288

Total gross household income must be at or below the amount listed. Amount subject to change as required by the funding agency.

 
**A family is defined as two (2) or more persons related by birth, marriage, and/or adoption who reside together and are considered one family unit. However, if the student is determined “independent” at the time of the SUNS Program application approval, they would be considered a household of one. However, if the student is determined "independent" at the time of the SUNS Program application approval, they would be considered a household of one.
 
 

 

Summary of Services

Summary of Services

Incentive Payments

Academic excellence incentive payments are awarded to students who have a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher at the end of the academic year (May). Incentive payment amounts will vary depending on the number of students eligible and the amount of funding received.

To receive graduation incentive payments students must provide verification of graduation with at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA and degree awarded within the same month as graduation.  Incentive payment amounts will vary depending on the number of students eligible and the amount of funding received.

Semester completion incentive payments are awarded in an amount up to $125 per academic term for students who have a 2.0 GPA or higher. To receive reimbursement, students must provide a copy of their transcript or grade report within the same month as the end of the semester.

Travel incentive payments will be given to students participating in the Annual Academic Success Workshop in May. Eligible students will receive up to $100 to assist with any travel expenses incurred.

 

Scholarships

Educational scholarships are available to income eligible participants in an amount up to $350 per semester for required tuition, fees, books, supplies, tools, and uniforms for currently enrolled classes. Tuition and fees will only be allowed for students who do not receive financial aid or other financial assistance and will be paid directly to the college or university. 

Reimbursement for books, supplies, tools, and uniforms for currently enrolled classes will be provided directly to the student upon receipt of class schedule* and bookstore receipts** within the same month as the start of the semester. Failure to meet this deadline may result in loss of this service.

Please note that we cannot reimburse for books and supplies when purchased using financial aid or other financial assistance.

*A copy of student's class schedule verifying they are enrolled full-time (12 credit hours or more) in a North Carolina-based accredited community college or university.
**A copy of student's bookstore receipt(s), listing date of purchase, items purchased, and payment type.

 

Supportive Services

Limited funds are available to assist eligible participants with a one-time financial assistance payment for unexpected expenses such as emergency car repair or other needed services, so they may remain enrolled in a college or university. Students must request these funds in writing and  include justification and verification of need. Funds will be distributed on an as-needed basis and may only be received one time during the academic year. Once funds are depleted, this service will not be available.

Failure to meet any of these guidelines may result in loss of service.Cartoon people silhouette holding hands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Us

Contact Us

To ensure accurate delivery of mailed correspondence, please include your name and the last four (4) digits of your social security number on all documents submitted to this office and address the envelope, as follows.

NC Commission of Indian Affairs

Attention: SUNS Program

1317 Mail Service Center

Raleigh, NC 27699-1317

Emailed correspondence should include SUNS Program in the subject line of the email. Please include your name, the last four (4) digits of your social security number and telephone number in the body of the email. 

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Questions?

Please contact:

Kimberly Hammonds
Economic Development Director
919-807-4440
kimberly.hammonds@doa.nc.gov

The SUNS Program is proudly sponsored by the Economic Development Program.

 

Remember, this is a "partnership" between you and the SUNS Program to assist you in achieving your educational goals. Whether your goal is to complete an occupational certificate, an associate or bachelor's degree, we want to help you succeed and achieve your dreams.

We look forward to making your college dreams a reality!

 

 

 

 

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