College Advising Corps (CAC)

    College Advising Corps (CAC) is the largest college access nonprofit in the country. CAC works to increase the number of low-income, first-generation college, and underrepresented high school students who enter and complete post-secondary education. This is achieved through an in-school model that places recent college graduates to serve as full-time college advisers in underserved high schools. By partnering with over 30 institutions, CAC deployed over 800 college advisers to serve across 19 states in 2021-2022.

    UNCW College Advising Corps

    The University of North Carolina Wilmington College Advising Corps (UNCW CAC) launched Summer 2021 as one of College Advising Corps’ newest programs. The first cohort of advisers were placed in four partner schools to serve during 2021-2022 academic year. UNCW College Advising Corps recruits and trains recent college graduates to serve as advisers in partner schools throughout Eastern North Carolina. Advisers participate in an intensive 4-week summer training program to gain the college advising skills needed to effectively serve. Advisers gain valuable professional, leadership, and advocacy experience as they work to create more equitable access to post-secondary education.

    UNCW College Advising Corps is committed to ensuring higher education opportunities for all students. We believe that everyone has the right to pursue a better life. Equal access higher education can boost economic mobility, invigorate low-income communities, and help relieve the high societal costs of racism and inequality. 


    The mission of UNCW College Advising Corps is to empower low-income, first-generation college, and underrepresented high school students in Eastern, NC to identify and pursue post-secondary education opportunities.


    Educational equity for all

    The Need

    Nationally, the student-to-counselor ratio is over 482:1, leaving many students with as little as 20 minutes a year with a college counselor. Students in underserved communities often lack the guidance and support they need to prepare for college, apply to best-fit schools and for financial aid, enroll, and graduate from their post-secondary institutions.

    Veronica Tapia

    Program Director


    Casey Barnard

    Graduate Assistant

    Jacob Ferguson

    West Craven High School
    2600 Streets Ferry Rd Vanceboro, NC 28586

    Arianne Murray

    Jones Senior High School
    1378 Highway 58 South Trenton, NC 28585

    Tristan Kalos

    South Columbus High School
    40 Stallion Drive | Tabor City, NC 28463 

    Emma Chandler

    South View High School
    4184 Elk Road Hope Mills, NC 28348

    Raven Boone

    West Columbus High School
    7294 Andrew Jackson Hwy SW, Cerro Gordo, NC 28430



    Our Advising Model

    College Advising Corps uses a near-peer advising model by hiring and training recent college graduates to serve in partner high schools. This near-peer approach allows our advisers to share current college knowledge with the students they serve. Advisers report to their assigned high school daily and use a whole school approach, educating students and their families on a variety of college topics. This is accomplished through 1-on-1 advising, presentations, and workshops. College advisers work closely with students and families as well as school staff and administrators to implement a college-going culture in their schools.

    What We Do:

    We understand that the college application and financial aid process can be a challenge, especially for students who are the first in their families to pursue a college education. That’s why our college advisers assist their students with the entire college application process, from start to finish.

    The services that College Advisers provide include:

    • One-on-one advising sessions with students and their parents/guardians
    • Comprehensive college application support, including assistance with the RDS (Residency Determination Service)
    • Assistance with FAFSA, CSS Profile, and scholarship completion
    • Admissions and financial aid award comparison and best-fit decision-making
    • Host college-themed workshops to educate students and families on the college application process
    • Present in-class presentations on various college topics
    • Assist students with obtaining fee waivers for college applications and standardized tests
    • Register students for standardized tests and connect them to preparation resources
    • Promote community-based resources
    • Assist with college-enrollment steps
    Want to learn more about serving as an adviser? Complete an interest form for more information!

    Service Areas

    Who can become a College Adviser?

    College Adviser applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree. Given our near-peer advising approach, applicants who graduated with their bachelor’s degree between 2020 and 2023 are granted priority consideration. UNCW graduates are also given priority consideration, though alumni from any institution are welcome to apply.  

    Preferred qualifications include exceptional organization and communication skills, volunteer or mentor experience, campus or community involvement, a genuine passion for helping others, and fluency in English and Spanish. 

    Please note that advisers are expected to relocate to their assigned service area. Advisers report to their assigned high school daily from August to June. See our current school partners section for school placements and service areas. 

    Adviser Benefits

    • AmeriCorps Living Allowance (currently set at $33,004) 
    • AmeriCorps Education Award-$6,895 (can be used for continuing education or loan forgiveness) 
    • FREE Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance (not deducted from living allowance) 
    • FREE Graduate School through the Equity Fellows programupon successful completion of service and admittance into the fellowship 
    • Extensive professional development. This includes 1:1 graduate school advising, monthly training, biannual conferences, and annual adviser national summit. 
    • The opportunity to make a lasting impact in the lives of students! 

    Current School Partners 2022-2023

    • South View High School, Cumberland County
    • South Columbus High School, Columbus County
    • Jones Senior High School, Jones County
    • West Craven High School, Craven County
    • West Columbus High School, Columbus County


    The Hiring Process

    UNCW College Advising Corps (UNCW CAC) is an AmeriCorps program. This means that advisers can serve for up to two years. Therefore, UNCW CAC hires and trains new College Advisers each year to serve in our partner schools. The College Adviser job posting opens during the fall semester on the UNCW job portal and remains active until all positions are filled. Advisers begin their 4-week summer training in July at UNC Wilmington, where on-campus housing is provided. After training is completed in August, advisers relocate to their service areas and adhere to the staff work schedule at their assigned high school. Advisers serve for an 11-month service term (July-June) and have the option to return for the second year of service. Upon successful completion of service, Advisers enjoy the benefits of joining the AmeriCorps and College Advising Corps alumni networks. 

    We hope that you will join College Advising Corps in activating the next generation of leaders to propel one million low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented students to college by 2025.

    Ready to change the lives of students in Eastern NC?

    Contact Us

    Veronica Tapia, Program Director for UNCW College Advising Corps or 910-962-3939.


    Our program is hosted at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and is funded by College Advising Corps, GEAR UP NC and AmeriCorps

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