One of the world’s most promising educational possibilities is available to those who have strong leadership qualities.

All high-potential leaders are eligible for the Robertson Scholars Leadership Scholarship Program.

Students at Duke University and the University of North Carolina (UNC) in Chapel Hill may apply for the Robertson Scholarships.

In addition to high school students interested in attending any of the two institutions, international students, and first-year college students may apply for the award.

This page covers all the essential information regarding the Robertson scholarship for students who meet the criteria.


About Robertson Scholarship 

In 2000, Julian Robertson, a 1955 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his wife, Josie, established the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program by giving the initiative the sum of $24 million.

They were motivated by their sons, one of whom graduated from Duke in 1998 and another who graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2001 after having the feeling that these two institutions gave their sons an extraordinary undergraduate experience.

For this reason, they debated that a combination of both schools promised a richness of resources that no other university could match and thus the birth of the Robertson scholarship. 

The Robertson Scholarship Program has evolved to over 250 alumni on six continents. The alumni community stays connected through formal and informal channels of communication and support.

The Robertson Scholarship Program regularly engages alumni in program events like regional dinners and the Senior Capstone retreat.

These alumni also play a role in the recruitment and selection of new Robertson Scholars which has also helped scholars find summer internships or post-graduate employment.

Robertson scholarships give undergraduates monetary funding and other benefits like mentorship and leadership training. 

The Leadership program stands to produce Robertson scholars who will play significant and impactful roles in their communities and society.


Robertson Scholarship Opportunities

The Robertson Scholars Leadership program is available for students in three categories. Which are: 

  • High School Students
  • International Students
  • First-Year Students

These categories are the numerous openings through which you can become a Robertson Scholar.

The benefits of the Robertson scholarship are the same for all the categories. This is because whichever category you’re accessing the scholarship, you’re going to be an undergraduate studying at either Duke University or UNC.


Robertson Scholarship Benefits

Robertson scholarship has numerous ways to give benefit to the Robertson Scholar through the Robertson Scholarship Leadership Program.

Here are some of the benefits of being a Robertson scholar:


  • You get financial Benefits

The Robertson scholarship gives eight (8) semesters of full tuition, room & board, and most compulsory fees for Scholars at Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill. 

Robertson Scholars also have access to generous funding for up to three summer experiences.

  • You get Dual Citizenship benefits: 

Robertson scholars also earn access to the resources of two of the most highly regarded universities in the world – Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  • You get a Summer Experience

The Robertson Scholar Leadership program offers scholars the platform to pursue both domestic and international experiences.

As a Robertson scholar, you’ll get the opportunity to explore and act on individual passions, and step outside of your comfort zone.

  • You get a Leadership Development benefit

The program provides scholars the chance to participate in programs and activities that will modernize their skills.

These programs also expand Robertson scholars’ academic and professional networks and secure their personal and professional goals.

Note: National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and Leadership Enhancement and Development (LEAD) are some of the programs Robertson Scholars benefit from.

  • You get Mentorship benefits

With the Robertson Scholars Leadership program, scholars can create mentoring connections with faculty and administrators at both universities.

Robertson scholarship program also helps Scholars to pursue guidance and mentorship in their field of interest through the alumni network.

They can also get mentorship sessions with the staff of the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program.

Robertson staff members encourage Scholars in planning their summer experiences and supervise them in their across-the-board leadership and personal development.

  • Becoming A Robertson scholar

It’s been stated that there are three categories by which you can become a Robertson Scholar, now is the time to look at the ways by which you can become a scholar through the three openings. 


Robertson Scholarship for High School Students

You can become a Robertson Scholar from high school if you are in your graduating year and are applying to enter Duke/UNC.

Applicants should understand that admission to Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill entails separate processes. 

Note: All forms and correspondence dealing with admission to either of these colleges should go directly to their Offices of Undergraduate Admissions.

The Robertson scholarship application for high school students is online and the process will require you to self-report either your SAT score or ACT score. You may also prefer to report both scores.

As an applicant of a Robertson scholar, you will be expected to submit two letters of recommendation, one from a teacher who has seen you in a classroom setting and the other from anyone that can speak of your leadership and character.

International High school students will have to refer to the International application to commence their application in their graduating year.

Note: Only International students from New Zealand, Australia, and Africa are eligible.

Note that the following students are not eligible to apply for this scholarship;

  • Transfer Students 
  • Students who have applied to the Morehead-Cain Scholarship


Application process

Students who apply to Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill are automatically considered for merit scholarships. However, the only way to ensure that the selection committee precise your application is by completing the Robertson online application 


How to apply 

To apply for the Robertson scholarship for high school students, visit Robertson Scholarship for High School students. 


Application Deadline

The deadline for submission of an application is November 15, annually. 

The application process starts on August 15, annually. 

It is important to note that while you’re checking for the deadline of the Robertson application, you’ll also have to check the deadline for your school of choice.

Visit Robertson Scholarship to find out more about the scholarship, including Frequently Asked Questions. 


Robertson Scholarship for International Students

Robertson Scholars Program is available to International students by applying from their home country with Robertson partners with an institution in the selected region.

As of present, the Robertson scholarship partnership is only available to three(3) international regions/countries. They are as follows:

  • Africa: African Leadership Academy Partner Program
  • New Zealand: New Zealand Partner Program, and
  • Australia: Australia Partner Program.


African Leadership Academy Partner Program

The Robertson Scholar Leadership Program is accessible to Africans who study at the African Leadership Academy. 

These African Leadership Academy students must be finishing their sixth form and must also plan to apply for admission to Duke and/or UNC-Chapel Hill as well as receive a nomination for the Robertson scholarship.

Applicants have to check the application interval of either Duke or UNC or both while applying for the Robertson scholarship and also note that admission to Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill are two different processes. 

Applicants will have to submit undergraduate program applications to these institutions individually even if you’re applying for both.

Applicants will also be required to take the SAT or ACT entrance exams to be eligible for this scholarship.


Application Deadline

The deadline for submission of application as a Robertson’s African Leadership Academy nominee is yet to be decided. However, you may contact if you have any questions. 


How to Apply

You will be invited to apply for this scholarship as an African International student online. 

However, you have to complete your application process after you have been nominated.

During the application process, you will have to select “African Leadership Academy Applicant” as your Current Status when applying to be a Robertson scholar.

Note: If you are a student from Africa and you did not attend the African Leadership Academy, you’re still eligible to apply but you will have to apply through the traditional High School Application described above.


New Zealand Partner Program

The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program is accessible to New Zealand students through the Universities New Zealand – Te Pōkai Tara.

Applicants need to be either attending Duke or UNC to be eligible for the Robertson scholarship.

To qualify for the scholarship, applicants must be entered for the Year 13 senior school examination. This could be the NCEA Level 3 or the Cambridge exams, or the equivalent senior school exam in the year of application.

Additionally, you must be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident who has completed five years of secondary schooling in New Zealand.

Note, however, that you’ll have to follow up on the program deadline of your selected school while applying for the Robertson scholarship.

You are also eligible to apply to both schools, but the application goes to each school separately.

Also, note that you will have to put up with the SAT or ACT entrance exam for the Robertson Selection Committee to consider you.


Application Deadline

The deadline for applying to become a Robertson scholar through the Universities New Zealand – Te Pōkai Tara is December 1.

You may contact if you have any questions. 


How to Apply

The New Zealand scholarship application is done through an online application. To apply through the partner school, you’ll have to visit the  Robertson Scholarship for New Zealand students. 


Australia Partner Program

The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program is available to Australian students through the University of South Wales (UNSW) but the Australian students must be applying to Duke or UNC-Chapel Hill for the Robertson scholarship.

As an Australian international, you must be an Australian Year 12 student to be eligible for this scholarship. 

You’ll be required to provide a certified copy of your birth certificate and proof of Australian citizenship or permanent residency, provide certified copies of your academic results to date, one academic reference, and a personal reference while applying through the University of South Wales. 

Applicants are followed up on the program deadline of the selected school while applying for the Robertson scholarship. 

Note: You can apply to both Duke and UNC for the Robertson scholarship but you’ll submit your application separately to the individual schools.

You will also be required to take the SAT or ACT entrance exam for the Robertson Selection Committee to consider you.


Application Deadline

The deadline for applying to become a Robertson scholar through the University of South Wales (UNSW) is December 1 – Australian time.

If you have any questions, you can contact


How to Apply

To apply for Robertson’s Australia Partner Program, you have to go through UNSW’s scholarship application portal for Robertson scholarship for Australian students

Note: you are expected to read the instructions on the portal and proceed to fill out the scholarship application form. 

However, you must submit your application following UNSW’s portal.

Note: Shortlisted candidates for the scholarship committee will be invited for an interview in Sydney. 


Robertson Scholarship for First-Year Students.

Getting admitted into Duke University or UNC-Chapel Hill gives you access to the Robertson scholarship. 

You can only apply for this scholarship at the end of your freshman year because the scholarship assesses first-year applicants based on their academic performance, initiative, and accomplishment during their freshman year.

You will also have to be enrolled as a full-time, degree-seeking student at Duke or UNC-Chapel Hill to be eligible for this scholarship and must apply for a minimum of four full credits per semester while at UNC 12 credit hours per semester qualifies you.

Applying for the Robertson scholarship as a First-year student of Duke or UNC does not compel you to be a citizen of a specific country/region as there are no restrictions on citizenship or residency for the Robertson First-Year Selection Program. 

You have to self-report either your SAT score or ACT score or may choose to report both, plus the scholarship requires first-year Scholars to maintain a GPA minimum of 3.0 for the scholarship committee to consider your application.

In addition, you are required to submit 2 letters of recommendation during your scholarship application. One from a Duke or UNC faculty staff member and the other should be from anyone who can attest to your leadership and character.

Note: Students who applied to the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program in high school are also eligible to apply as first-year students. 


Application Deadline

The deadline for submission of an application for the Robertson scholarship as a First-year student at Duke and/or UNC is February 1. However, the scholarship submission starts on December 1.


How to Apply 

The Robertson Scholarship for First-year students at Duke and UNC Robertson scholarship application is done online.

Visit Robertson scholarship for first-year students to apply. 

For more about the Robertson First-Year application, including FAQs, visit Robertson scholarship.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Robertson Scholarship looking for?

The Robertson Scholars leadership program seeks students who have demonstrated outstanding potential to become great leaders in college and beyond. 

It seeks people who can play significant and impact-filled roles in their various communities and society today and in the near future.


How do I get a Robertson Scholarship?

You will need to be either attending Duke or UNC to be eligible for the Robertson Scholarship. 


How much money is the Robertson Scholarship?

Robert Scholar’s leadership program is worth over $66,000 per annum. 


What does the Robertson scholarship fund cover? 

It provides full tuition, room, and board, and covers other academic expenses, and scholars at UNC will receive an additional living stipend. 

Scholars will also get support for three summers of service, research, and travel.



The Robertson scholarship through the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program disburses funds  for the undergraduate’s full, four-year tuition while bestowing the student the complete offer of ‘Dual citizenship.’

This,  this scholarship offers you the means to attend school at Duke University while participating in activities at UNC-Chapel Hill.

The Robertson scholarship is accessible to students who wish to study at Duke and/or UNC. This is because the program strives to build world leaders and also give them access to quality leadership training and mentorship.

You can apply for this scholarship either as a high school student, an international student, or a first-year student at Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill.

You are encouraged to go through the application processes and requirements for any category you are applying for. Also, it is recommended that you know the application deadline for the school of your choice and also read the application FAQs so as to have a smooth application process.

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