Escheats  are items of property owned by a person who dies without leaving a will or known heirs, which therefore pass to the state. Technically limited to real estate , the term is commonly applied to personal property and has been extended to include unclaimed or abandoned property as well. From the time of its chartering in 1789, the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill  was assigned the benefits of escheats. The North Carolina Constitution  now stipulates that escheats be used to provide scholarships for needy state residents enrolled in public institutions of higher education in North Carolina.
Blackwell Robinson, The History of Escheats (1955).
North Carolina General Statutes, North Carolina General Assembly: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/statutes/StatutesTOC.pl?Chapter=0116B 
University of North Carolina - General Administration Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual Title: Escheat Funds: http://www.northcarolina.edu/finance_policy/index.php?pg=vs&id=s922 
1 January 2006 | Orth, John V.