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Meet Andrea Ertz

What kind of effect can cold Iowa winters have on a promising high school student? In Andrea Ertz’s case, they sent her 950 miles away from home to attend college in the South.

Of course, freezing temperatures weren’t the only reason Ertz wanted to attend NC State. When she was a junior in high school, her cousin—who graduated from NC State in ’07—showed her around campus. “I absolutely loved it,” Ertz says. “I grew up in a small city at a very small private school and I had felt the need to branch out and go somewhere completely different from what I was used to.”

And thanks to a strong independent streak, the move wasn’t too intimidating — although Ertz was leaving quite a legacy behind. In high school, she participated in several extra-curricular activities: student council, spirit club and the National Honor Society. She was also on the cheerleading and volleyball teams, and was her class Salutatorian.

Most students with Ertz’s credentials wouldn’t worry about whether they could attend college, but Ertz knew that out-of-state tuition might prevent her from attending her dream school. “I knew for a fact that without financial aid I wouldn’t be able to afford out-of-state tuition anywhere,” she says. “I applied for many scholarships, but I still would have had to attend school in Iowa. Don’t get me wrong—there are very good schools in Iowa, but my dream was to come to North Carolina.”

Luckily, Pack Promise doesn’t limit its prospects to in-state students only. Ertz qualified for the program and was soon on her way to school in the sunny South. “Honestly, I could not have come to NC State without Pack Promise,” she says. “There is no way I could afford almost $30,000 for out-of-state tuition.”

When Ertz began her freshman year, she wasn’t sure what her major would be, so she entered NC State’s First Year College (FYC) program. As an FYC student, Ertz had the opportunity to explore several different academic options and career paths before choosing the one that interested her the most. So after a year in the program, what’s the verdict? Biological sciences. “I want to try to go to pharmacy school,” she says.

And, of course, it’s possible thanks to Pack Promise. “I am so grateful for the program. It has given me the privilege of getting an amazing education at a wonderful school, and it made my dream come true of coming to North Carolina for college.”

**Note, beginning in 2011-12, Pack Promise is only available to North Carolina residents. While students who began the program prior to that time may continue to receive funding and support services, new Pack Promise scholars will be selected from in state.**