Fellows with Stegman 2016

2016-2017 CCC Graduate Fellows with Founder Mike Stegman, Former Executive Director Lucy Gorham and Director Roberto Quercia. 

Center for Community Capital Graduate Fellowship

The Center for Community Capital Fellowship Program supports a small group of Carolina graduate students for one academic year through a program that includes mentorship, project work, and peer support.  This program is meant to support UNC students with strong academic credentials and significant engagement with the university community.

The program consists of three main parts. The first part consists of monthly group meetings, which will include guest speakers and discussions. Former speakers include Alexandra Sirota from the North Carolina Budget & Tax Center, Professor Jim Johnson from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business, and Dr. Mike Stegman, founder of the CCC. The second part, professional development, will include periodic meetings with CCC staff and others to develop informal mentorships and panel conversations around topics of the students’ choosing. The third program component is project work under the direction of a researcher at the CCC. This year, two projects (see below) will be under the supervision of professionals from Self-Help and the Center for Responsible Lending.

Each Fellow will receive a stipend of $500 (in two $250 installments at the end of each semester) upon completion of these program responsibilities and the completion of a final blog post reflecting on their experience.

Project Work

Fellows will be matched with projects based on preferences indicated in the online application. Most (though not all) projects are meant to involve students in current research projects at the Center. Two additional projects will be under the supervision of Self-Help and the Center for Responsible Lending. Projects for 2017-2018 are below, listed according to CCC research areas:

Financial Inclusion

  1. Financial Capabilities and Housing  //  With support from JPMorgan Chase, CCC is evaluating outcomes and best practices for three affordable housing providers as they begin to incorporate financial capability strategies into their existing housing programs. The Fellow will analyze data provided by our partners in New York, Chicago, and Cleveland to find points of comparison. The student will begin by writing profiles of the three partner organizations and their work. Overall, the research will include writing, some statistical work (e.g. descriptive), and data visualization.
  2. Financial Coaching  //  Through a comparison study of several online financial coaching platforms (e.g. My Budget Coach and Change Machine), the CCC is working with the MetLife Foundation to identify gaps and redundancies in the current array of financial coaching tools and resources available for both practitioners and clients, providing new and actionable insights related to current coaching services and ongoing development and funding of new coaching programs. The Fellow will conduct a literature review, help implement and analyze a survey, and will assist with the development of the final report.
  3. Employers’ Use of Credit Reports in Hiring and Employment  //  With support from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, CCC is exploring the impact of employer and workforce intermediaries’ use of credit reporting in employment decisions.  The resulting white paper will discuss the current extent of this practice, state and local efforts to regulate the practice, and workforce development and non-profit strategies to minimize the disparate impact of this practice on select subgroups.  The Fellow will assist with analysis and writing of the white paper, which might include analysis of qualitative and quantitative data (e.g. descriptive), writing up results, and data visualization.
  4. UNC Hub for Economic Inclusion  //  The Center for Community Capital is launching a new hub for economic inclusion at UNC. The goals include bringing together students and faculty to support multidisciplinary research around economic inclusion and mobility, raising the profile of CCC work in the broader national conversations about these topics, and developing pedagogy around financial topics. The Fellow will assist with the development of the Hub, working with a wide variety of stakeholders around and outside of the University.

Affordable Housing

  1. Wealth Building Effects of Affordable Homeownership  //  The CCC is producing a paper examining how the assets, debts, and total wealth of lower-income homeowners changed over time as a result of their entry into homeownership.  The Fellow will contribute to this work in two ways: by writing a literature review on the underlying topic and by assisting with technical editing (data quality control and visualization).
  2. Homeownership, Financial Satisfaction, and Subjective Economic Mobility  //  With support from the Ford Foundation, the CCC has collected panel survey data from a sample of low-income households with the goal of assessing the costs and benefits of homeownership for the low-income population. One part of this assessment considers the extent to which renters who become homeowners are financially more satisfied than other renters, and whether they view themselves as subjectively better off after the transition, either relative to their former selves or relative to their parents at the same age.  The Fellow will contribute to this project by reviewing the related literature concerning relationships among subjective well-being, economic mobility, and financial satisfaction.
  3. Landscaping and House Prices  //  An area of growth for CCC research concerns the relationship between environmental factors, such as green space and energy costs, and financial outcomes.  For example, CCC researchers have previously investigated the relationship between the energy efficiency rating of single-family properties and residential mortgage default.  Another ongoing project considers the influence of residential landscaping on house prices. The Fellow will contribute to this latter project by conducting a literature search and expanding an in-progress literature review.

Economic Mobility

  1. Housing and Opportunity Assessment  //  CCC is partnering with JPMorgan Chase to investigate the intersecting roles of place, opportunity, and housing in linking low- and moderate-income families to the amenities, services, and institutions that might improve and enhance their quality of life. The project focuses on the conversion of public to mixed-income housing in San Francisco and New Orleans.  The Fellow will assist with completing the final report, which might include writing, some statistical work (e.g. descriptive), and data visualization.
  2. Student Loan Debt’s Lasting Impacts  //  The CCC is examining how students from a variety of backgrounds make decisions about how to finance their education, how they negotiate the landscape of student loan debt, and how student loans impact their families’ broader financial health. The Fellow will supplement the CCC’s qualitative work by writing a short quantitative report on student loan debt around the country and, potentially, in several specific cities of interest. This project will require some familiarity with descriptive statistics and quantitative data sources.

Self-Help and the Center for Responsible Lending

  1. Self-Help’s WealthBuilder Loan Analysis  //  Since 2013, Self-Help Credit Union has provided a loan designed and marketed to families struggling with high cost consumer installment debt. Self-Help is in the midst of an ongoing internal analysis exploring the evolution of this product, borrower characteristics, loan performance, and Self-Help’s data collection processes. The Fellow will contribute to the project by helping to update loan performance analysis, collecting difficult to digitize data, and setting up a data collection process for future use.
  2. The Center for Responsible Lending’s Investigation of For-Profit Online College Education Programs  //  CRL is investigating online programs at for-profit colleges, which tend to result in high levels of debt and poor educational outcomes for students. For-profit schools have increased online offerings in recent years and CRL would like to better understand this part of the industry. The Fellow will assist in the development of a white paper on the topic by conducting a literature review and pulling data identifying online programs from national education data.


Eligible applicants are:

  • Graduate students with strong academic credentials and a strong interest in the work of the Center for Community Capital;
  • Enrolled in coursework on campus at UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina Central University, NC State, or Duke University;
  • Interested in gaining experience and mentorship.


Prospective fellows are required to:

  1. Submit a Resume or CV to communitycapital@unc.edu.
  2. Complete our online application form here. This form will provide applicants with the opportunity to tell us about their academic and professional interests, their subject areas of interest, and their preferred project placement.

To Apply

The next application period will begin in August 2018. Interested students may send questions to communitycapital@unc.edu.

Meet the Fellows

Find out more about the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 Fellows here.

2017-2018 CCC Graduate Fellows