The Murray Family ACCESS Program is App State's promise to low-income North Carolina students that higher education is within reach. Students who earn a place at App State and are selected for the ACCESS scholarship and support program have the opportunity to graduate debt-free.
The Murray Family ACCESS Program was generously funded by Walter and Martha Ann Murray in 2008. Since that time, they have continued to provide additional funding to support the academic and non-academic needs of ACCESS students and ensure their continued success. To date, the Murrays have helped more than 400 students graduate debt-free, and ACCESS students maintain a graduation rate that is well above the comparable national average.
Walter, the retired president of Murray Supply Company who passed away in 2022, and Martha Ann, a longstanding education advocate, received the App State Alumni Association's Honorary Alumni Award in 2014. The award commends their strong commitment to the university's mission and outstanding service to App State. They have also cultivated a multigenerational legacy of support for the university — from their son, Charles Murray '87, a former member of the App State Board of Trustees, to their grandchildren, Rebecca Murray '15 '20, Samuel Murray '17, and current student Stephen Leverton.
In order to be eligible for the ACCESS program, a student must be a first-time freshman at Appalachian, attend full time (12 semester hours or more each semester), be a resident of North Carolina, and their guardians' adjusted gross income (AGI) cannot exceed 100% of the federal poverty guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services each year. Additionally, a student's EFC (expected family contribution) must be zero after Verification of the student's filing of the FAFSA.
- Submit the Application for Admission by November 1 and submit all supporting material, such as transcripts and test scores by November 15.
- Complete the FAFSA by February 1.
- Complete RDS (Residency Determination Service) - you must be considered an in-state student to be considered for ACCESS.
- We encourage you to have all of these tasks complete by February 1.
ACCESS offers its scholars a four-year university education at Appalachian without student loans. Specifically, the ACCESS program supplements federal financial aid grants, state grants, scholarships, and other forms of financial assistance with sufficient funds to cover the cost of institutional charges (tuition, fees, room, board, and health insurance). In addition, ACCESS students have the opportunity to have a work-study job to help with personal expenses.
With donor support, the ACCESS scholarship program is able to cover tuition, fees, room, board and health insurance for 180-200 students each semester. This allows students to focus on achieving their academic goals without the burden of finances. Learn more about how to support scholarships.
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