GREENVILLE – Almost 11,000 of East Carolina University’s 29,000 students come from North Carolina’s poorest counties.

“Obviously those students are going to come in the door with greater financial need,” ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton says in the accompanying video.

“It’s something we’re passionate about at ECU.  We’ve got to find the resources – because I don’t want those kids to leave here with $30,000 in debt.  Because that’s going to make it harder for them to stay in the communities they come from, and in rural North Carolina, and in the East, which we care so deeply about.”

The solution, Staton says, is more need-based financial aid.  He adds that he is moved by some students who already work three jobs to help pay for their education.

“The only way to get around those things is really to raise the resources that are needed to help students in those situations,” he says.

ECU has launched a campaign – its biggest ever – to raise half a billion dollars, Staton says.  And much of that money will go for scholarships.

STATON ALSO wants to build a new facility for the Brody School of Medicine, which currently uses a 40-year-old building.  Last year, the medical school admitted 82 students out of 1,080 applications.

“Every one of them North Carolinians,” Staton says.  “We want them to come to Brody, because we do the best job at creating physicians who will stay in North Carolina, practice in those rural and underserved areas.

“They need 21st-century facilities.  I think that’ll help us in so many ways to continue to have the impact across North Carolina that we have.”

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