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Scholarship Opportunities for Carolina Students

Carolina is fortunate to have a robust program of need-based scholarships, which are overseen by our colleagues at the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid. They distribute over $30 million per year from 1,200 scholarship programs. The Office takes great care to distribute these equitably among qualifying students, so there is no need to apply for them.

The Office also awards merit-based scholarships ranging from $2,500 to the full cost-of-attendance. While these funds are limited and are offered to about 250 entering first-year students each year, other students bring approximately $14 million per year to campus with them in the form of scholarships they have earned on their own.

Our students are strong contenders for a variety of competitive scholarships offered through Carolina and beyond. Below is a list of these opportunities, some of which students may apply for as early as their first year.

Leadership, Service, and Activism

The Robert E. Bryan Social Innovation Fellowship is designed for aspiring social change-makers who are interested in providing a significant contribution locally, nationally or internationally through the creation of an entrepreneurial project that addresses a community issue or need. Fellows receive enrollment in a Public Policy course, up to $1,500 to help launch their idea, support from APPLES students and staff and invaluable leadership training and personal development. Up to five team Fellowships are awarded each fall for the following calendar year (January-December).

The Eve Carson Scholarship was established in 2008 to commemorate and celebrate the life of former student body president Eve Marie Carson. The junior year scholarship is intended to reward students who have grown significantly in the areas of academics, social justice and leadership. The award funds a summer experience (up to $5,000) and half the cost of attendance for the senior year.

Davis Projects for Peace is open to all undergraduates at the 76 institutions (including UNC-Chapel Hill) that are part of the Davis United World College Scholars Program. Students are invited to design grassroots projects that they will implement during the summer.

Sean Douglas Leadership Fellows Program (SDLF) was created to broaden the college experience and include opportunities to organize and unite their peers for a common purpose, and to instill the propensity to lead and manage pertinent processes as a vital skill set for future endeavors. It is open to all sophomores, juniors and seniors in good academic standing.  Applicants for the SDLF fellowship will be selected on the basis of scholarship, campus and community participation, clarity in describing goals for the internship, sense of social responsibility, expressed desire to learn leadership strategies and the quality of recommendations submitted in support of the application. Through this fellowship experience, Carolina students will receive a unique, paid opportunity to cultivate leadership skills through mentorship and an independent study designed by the student and the Stone Center Director.  Each fellowship is a 10-week commitment and provides students with access to building offices, staff, one-on-one time with the Director of the Stone Center and an opportunity to work with on-campus student organizations to increase levels of engagement in the programs and initiatives of the Stone Center. For more information, please visit the website for the Sonya Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.

The Echoing Green Fellowship Program is awarded to about 20 students nationwide who have original and compelling ideas for social change. Students receive a two-year stipend of $60,000 to start new public service projects or organizations. Programs can be domestic or international in all public service areas including but not limited to the environment, arts, education, health, youth service and development, civil and human rights and community and economic development.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarships were created in October 2001 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for scholars of outstanding academic merit and leadership potential from every country of the world other than the United Kingdom. Recipients gain admission to the University of Cambridge to pursue a second Bachelor degree; one year postgraduate courses; or research leading to the Ph.D. degree.

The MacDonald Community Service Scholarship provides tuition support to a select group of four incoming students who have demonstrated a commitment to community service. Renewable for four years, the scholarship also enables students to participate in a unique series of programs focused on increasing their knowledge and skills related to community service. In addition to the tuition scholarship, MacDonald Scholars are also enrolled in the Buckley Public Service Scholars program, which will help them develop their public service portfolios and skills related to community service. They’re part of the First-Year Service Corps and will complete 100 hours of service in their first year at Carolina alone.

The Robertson Scholarship First-Year Selection Program invites current first-year students to join the program, which allows students to take advantage of the faculty and other resources at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University. It provides full tuition, room and board, and mandatory fees for four years plus three summers of generous funding. The Robertson Scholars Program seeks students who have demonstrated the passion and potential to become great leaders in college and beyond.

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship provides up to $30,000 in funding to students pursuing graduate degrees in public service fields. Students must be college juniors at the time of selection.

The Morris K. Udall Scholarship provides up to $5,000, or the cost of tuition, fees, books, room and board, whichever is less, to sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated a strong academic record and outstanding potential for leadership. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit to two groups of students; those who study the environment or related fields, and those with Native American or Native Alaskan backgrounds who study health care or tribal public policy.

The UNC Mahatma Gandhi Fellowship annually awards two students with a stipend of up to $3,000 to conduct a summer internship. The Fellowship rewards students for their interest in South Asia and promotes social activism by affording students the opportunity to grow, serve and make a difference.

The Vimy Global Award is given annually to one interdisciplinary team of students (Vimy Scholars) working collaboratively to pursue research or service projects outside the United States.  Made possible by the Global Education Fund, up to $12,000 is provided to fund a summer team project abroad.  Actual award amounts vary depending on the scope of the project and clarity of the proposed budget.

Academic Funding by Discipline

Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program  provides up to $7,500 per year for educational expenses to sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. The Goldwater Foundation seeks students in mathematics or the sciences that display intellectual curiosity and intensity; and possess potential for significant future contributions in their chosen field.

The Luce Scholars Program
offers a select group of fifteen young Americans an experience in Asia designed both to broaden their professional perspectives and to sharpen their perceptions of Asia, of America, and of themselves. The program is funded by the Henry Luce Foundation and administered in Asia in cooperation with The Asia Foundation.

Carolina Undergraduate Health Fellowships
provide three awards of up to $4,000 to enable undergraduates to create a self-designed health-related study anywhere in the world. The objective is to expose undergraduates to challenging and practical health-care scenarios in different regions of the world.

The School of Media and Journalism offers a number of special scholarships for majors. For example, the James F. Hurley III Merit Scholarship provides $5,000 to students who are pursuing news-editorial journalism.

Kenan-Flagler Business School
offers competitive merit scholarships for business administration majors applying to semester and summer study abroad programs. Awards typically range from $500-$2,000.

The William Scott Bryant Award
is given to an outstanding undergraduate political science major to enable him or her to attend internship programs in Washington, D.C.

The Department of Chemistry offers a number of scholarships to recognize the research potential of an undergraduate chemistry major.

The Ronald W. Hyatt Scholarship
awards $2,500 annually to an outstanding exercise and sports science major.

The Department of Art awards a minimum of $500 and up to $3,000 to studio art majors in an annual juried competition in studio art.

Marshall Scholarships
enable young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. Up to forty scholars are selected each year to study at graduate level at institution in any field of study in the United Kingdom.

The Carolina Innovation Scholarship Program is a new initiative helping the University become the premier destination for the most promising young innovators in the world. Renewable for four years, the Carolina Innovation Scholarship covers the full cost of tuition, fees, room and board. The program helps launch the careers of scholars who are ready to start new ventures, as well as provides them all with a wide and growing network of entrepreneurs and support organizations to help fund and nurture the scholars during their time at Carolina.

Future entrepreneurs should also consider participating in the Carolina Challenge, a business and social venture competition. The Challenge awards up to $50,000 each year support outstanding entrepreneurial ventures.

For countless other opportunities in specific academic disciplines, be sure and visit the websites for each of our 60 various departments.


Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) award $5,000 to enable undergraduates to engage in research, scholarship or creative performance under the guidance of faculty advisors (and possibly also graduate student mentors) for at least 9 weeks (20 hours/week) during the summer.

Beckman Scholars receive $16,000 for research in biology, chemistry or physics and astronomy with an emphasis on interdisciplinary research for two summers ($6,000/summer) and one academic year ($4,000). In addition, each scholar receives funds to travel to scientific meetings and funds for research supplies (up to $3,300).

The McNair Scholarship
provides both first-generation and under-represented minorities the support they need to advance into doctoral programs in their chosen field of study. Students may apply in their sophomore year and will receive an eight week paid summer research program which includes research courses, counseling, networking, and the opportunity to present research nationally.

Study Abroad

Carolina Southeast Asia Summer Program (SEAS) is an eight -week experience in Southeast Asia that is offered 25 students during the summer following their first year at Carolina The first half will be based at the National University of Singapore and will include a long-weekend excursion to Brunei, while the students will spend the last part of the program in Bangkok, Thailand, hosted by Mahidol University International College.

The Gilman Scholarship Program
offers $4,000 awards for study abroad for undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding.

For students wanting to design their own study abroad program, the Frances L. Phillips Travel Scholarship offers juniors and seniors in the College of Arts and Sciences $9,000 to engage in individual self-designed and directed international travel experiences.

The Phillips Ambassadors Program
is made possible through a generous gift from Earl “Phil” N. Phillips, a 1962 Carolina graduate. Financial scholarships up to $5,000 will be awarded to students participating in selected study abroad programs in Asia.

The Burch Fellows Program
administered by the Johnson Center for Undergraduate Excellence, was established by UNC alumnus Lucius E. Burch III. The Burch Fellowships recognize undergraduate students who possess extraordinary ability, promise and imagination and grant up to $6,000 to support self-designed off-campus experiences that enable students to pursue a passionate interest.

The Class of 1938 Summer Study Abroad Fellowship. The UNC-Chapel Hill Alumni Class of 1938 annually awards summer study abroad fellowships of $5,000 to U.S. students interested in pursuing independent career or personal projects outside the United States. This is a unique scholarship program because it provides financial assistance to students who could not perform independent projects abroad without the support of the Class of 1938 funding.

The Undergraduate International Studies Fellowship (UISF) supports international travel and study for students in good standing and enrolled full-time at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  The program is open to all students, but is intended to provide support for international and study abroad experiences to those with limited or no abroad travel experience. Fellowship recipients are awarded up to $2,500 toward academic research or study in an international setting during the fall, spring or summer terms.


Carolina students planning to study abroad or work as an unpaid intern for the first time are eligible to apply for a Carolina Experience Enrichment Scholarship. Preference is granted for exceptional non-traditional, Carolina Covenant, student parent, and transfer students.

The Student Enrichment Fund aims to allow Carolina students to bring outside learning from conferences, speeches, talks or other such opportunities back to campus. Any undergraduate student is welcome to apply for funding to attend these events by filling out the application and returning it by the first of each month. The review committee will use those answers along with a resume, a budget of expenses, and any supplemental materials to decide on the grant to award. Sponsored by the Executive Branch of UNC Student Government, SEF grants are aimed at individuals with passion and curiosity towards a particular subject area.

APPLES Summer Internship. If you’re seeking professional experience in a nonprofit this summer, consider applying for an APPLES Service-Learning summer internship which are open to all full-time undergraduates. For more information about stipends, academic credit and to access the application, visit the APPLES website.

For more, visit the UNC Global website which offers a comprehensive listing of a number of grants and scholarships for undergraduate study abroad.

For more information on available scholarships, please visit the website for The Office of Scholarships and Student Aid.

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