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Improve Undergraduate Student Access and Success

2022 Strategic Initiative - Focus Area for the NC Agricultural Foundation, Inc.

Student smiling on campus


The USDA forecasts annual demand for college graduates in the agriculture and food industries at 57,900. American agricultural colleges are only producing 35,400 graduates a year. We need to increase the number of graduates in our 4-year degree programs by 1.5 to 2 percent a year and add 90 students to our 2-year degree programs to meet the needs of our state.

Key Takeaways

  • Traditional Freshman Admission – the most competitive path for students is traditional freshman admission
  • Spring Semester Admission – this new program is largely targeting our under-enrolled degree programs in the crop and soil sciences, horticulture, plant biology, poultry science and others.
  • Hands on, 2-Year Degrees – we recognize not all students need or want a 4-year degree to start their career in agriculture.  NC State’s Agricultural Institute provides career-ready students a hands-on technical education through a variety of 2-year associate degrees.
  • Community College Partnerships – we are expanding our community college partnerships, increasing the number of community colleges with 1+3 and 2+2 admission paths to CALS.
  • CALS Nominate a Student – we want successful students in CALS.  If you know a student who would be a good fit for CALS, tell us and we’ll contact them and help them apply.


  • Help spread the word about the pathways to CALS for undergraduate students and the “CALS Nominate a Student” program.
  • Support for the CALS Scholars Program helps us attract the best and brightest students who are passionate about agriculture and the life sciences to CALS.  The program provides four-year scholarships awarded based on academic accomplishments, financial need and leadership potential.
  • Gifts of every size and type matter. Your gifts, especially when combined with gifts from other donors, change lives.