The Robertson Scholarship is awarded based on a combination of academic merit and leadership potential. Approximately 35 students receive the award each year. Recipients receive a special opportunity to take part in a joint program at two different universities in North Carolina: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University. This award was established through a generous gift from Julian Robertson, who desired to unite the two universities in an effort to promote the development of future scholars.
As part of the scholarship, recipients receive four years of support. This includes full-tuition coverage for four years, coverage of all student fees, and room and board. Furthermore, all winners receive three summer semesters of classes as well as an international opportunity. Students are helped via special networking opportunities with former Robertson Scholars and also have the opportunity to pursue individual interested through professional develop experiences. Participants are also afforded special academic and extracurricular involvement through both colleges. Additional leadership and mentorship opportunities are available throughout the program.
All scholars in this program adhere to an established timeline. During the first year, all students attend a leadership retreat in North Carolina. The retreat lasts for four days and aims to foster leadership and communication skills while having fun doing recreational activities. The first-year dinner series enables students to practice etiquette, networking, and presentation skills. Students also partake in a colloquium and a community summer during their first year in the program.
During spring semester of the students second year in the program, all scholars switch campuses in something called The Campus Switch. This switch aims to forge ties between the institutions and help participants adjust to new challenges. At the end of their sophomore year, students spend a summer pursuing cultural or academic interests. This can be done individually or in a group setting. The program allows for flexibility in whether the summer is done in the U.S. or abroad.
Junior year brings something called the Launch Summer, where students are engaged in a self-directed project. This may include a pre-professional internship or conducting research for a thesis. Senior year brings a Capstone Experience, which assists students as they move into their careers. Students engage in retreats and dinners.
Students can apply to the scholarship through a number of different ways. High school students can complete an online application prior to the November 15 deadline in order to be considered. Students from other countries (UK, Africa, New Zealand, and Australia) can also apply online. Students may also be referred via the Admissions department at either UNC-Chapel Hill or Duke University. First year students at either university can also be considered for the scholarship. Additional information about applying for the award can be found here: http://robertsonscholars.org/apply/.
Scholars are chosen based on a combination of character, intellectual curiosity, leadership, and collaborative nature. The program encourages diversity from academically talented candidates. Additional information about the Robertson scholarship, as well as a list of FAQs, can be found at the following website: http://robertsonscholars.org.