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U-Engage, Honors Progam and National Scholarships and Fellowships

UNC Students have a many scholarship and fellowship opportunities available to them. On the undergraduate level, scholarships are offered by a wide variety of institutions and organizations, ranging from employers and civic institutions to fraternal organizations and individual bequests. At the graduate level, scholarships and fellowships are available from academic departments, foundations, and government agencies. The following national scholarships and fellowships are all highly prestigious and hence highly competitive. They have varying eligibility requirements and application procedures, so students should visit the websites listed. U-Engage staff will assist students with inquiries and application materials for these scholarship opportunities.  Some scholarships have specific internal deadlines, since in many cases the University must recommend the student to the scholarship organization, and the more competitive scholarships may limit the number of students any one institution may forward for consideration.  More information is listed below about these scholarships.  Contact honors@unco.edu with any questions. 

UNC U-Engage and Honors Scholarships

Phelps Family C.A.P. Awards

Championed by UNC friends Bob and Bonnie Phelps Family, the CAP Awards recognize students whose lives demonstrate an exceptional and exemplary personal commitment to:

  • Contribute… by volunteering time and personal skills, talents, abilities, experience and passion around issues in service to the community.
  • Achieve… by displaying a bias toward action and performance, overcoming obstacles and setbacks, and accomplishing goals.
  • Pay-it-forward… by impacting the lives of others in meaningful and positive ways through random and planned acts of kindness, caring, and “giving back.”

Students apply for the Phelps Family C.A.P. Awards through the UNC Scholarship Application.  The deadline for the next academic year is February 1 of the year prior.

Honors Program Scholarships

The Honors Program recognizes outstanding student scholarship with several Honors Program scholarships each year as well as through the following “named” scholarships, provided by generous donors and alumni of the program.  For most scholarships, the student MUST complete the FAFSA and the UNC Scholarship Application in order to be considered for the award and MUST be an active member of the Honors Program.

Honors Scholarship

The Honors Program Scholarship was established by Dr. Marie Livingston while she was the Director for the Honors Program at UNC. These scholarships are awarded based on a student’s progression through the honors curriculum, high academic achievement, and evidence of civic engagement in local, state, national, or international communities, professional organizations or student clubs.  The Honors Scholarship Fund is awarded to one or two students enrolled in the Honors Program. To qualify for this opportunity the applicant must be a full-time student; active in the Honors Program; with a cumulative GPA of 3.25+ after two or more semesters; and demonstrates progression through the Honors curriculum.  

Paul Heidger Scholarship

The scholarship is awarded to an exceptional freshmen Honors student during their first year in the Honors Program.  Preference is given to a student who is studying or planning to study the sciences. 

Barbara Heidger Memorial Scholarship

The scholarship is awarded to an exceptional freshmen Honors student during their first year in the Honors Program.  Preference is given to a student who has previously been involved with or has expressed an interest in International Studies. 

Marie Livingston Scholarship

High academic achievement, evidence of civic engagement in local, state, national or international communities, professional organizations or student clubs, and satisfactory progression through the honors curriculum, and active status in honors, are some of the criteria considered for the Marie Livingston Scholarship. Preference is given to Economics or International Studies majors.  The scholarship is awarded to current Honors students who have completed at least two semesters of continuous, full-time enrollment in the UNC Honors Program prior to the year of award.

Gregory E. and Debra K. Holman Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to a first generation Honors Program or PLP student who has attended UNC for at least two semesters as a full-time student who is not already receiving an Honors or PLP-affiliated scholarship.  The student must demonstrate evidence of civic or community engagement, with preference given to students involved in environmental advocacy, environmental education or cultural resource preservation.  

Eugene D. & Peggy J. Koplitz Scholarship Award

Each year a $1000 award is given to an Upper Division Honors Program senior who produced the best proposal for their Honors Thesis project.  To be eligible the student must have submitted an honors thesis proposal to the Honors Program by the applicable Spring semester deadline, with approval as required by the handbook from the thesis advisor(s).

Becky R. Edgerton Memorial Award

This award, with a $500 stipend, is given annually to the graduating senior who has completed a meritorious Honors thesis and who has demonstrated the greatest breadth of intellectual curiosity among Honors peers. 

Director's Civic Engagement Award

This award was created in Spring 2009 specifically to recognize a remarkable student who brought civic engagement within Center for HSL and UNC to a new level.  Since that date, every year we have awarded one student from among the Center for HSL community based on their personal impact in campus, local, regional and/or global communities; along with their personal qualities of being an inclusive, active citizen and modeling leadership to their communities.  

Undergraduate Research Summer Stipends and Research Grants

When funding is available, a limited number of research grants are available for use on thesis-related research. Currently all research grants are administered through the Office of Undergraduate Research.  For more information and guidelines, go to the website at: https://www.unco.edu/office-undergraduate-research/  

National Scholarships and Fellowships

DAAD Scholarships

Funding and opportunities for research and study in Germany

David Boren Undergraduate Scholarship

Supports language and cultural study abroad experiences outside Western Europe

Freeman-Asia Awards

Award for undergraduates for study in Asia

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Funding for one year abroad after receiving a bachelor's degreee, for either research/study projects or for teaching English.  Students may apply early in the Fall semester of their senior year, but should seek out information and begin to plan for Fulbright in their junior year. 

UNC offers robust support for students seeking a Fulbright Award. Dr. Karen Barton, a many time Fulbright recipient, in coordination with the Office of Global Engagement will provide support and assistance to students applying for the Fulbright program. Students apply for one of two programs: Teaching English program or the Open Study/Research Awards.  For the Fall 2023 application cycle (2024-2025 awards), the following is the UNC internal deadline schedule:

  • Notify Dr. Karen Barton of your intent by July 15.
  • Preliminary Internal UNC deadline - 1st round of edits - September 8
  • Internal UNC deadline  2nd round of edits - September 20
  • Final Internal UNC Fulbright submission deadline - September 30
  • National Fulbright student deadline - October 10 (FPA certifis and submits in Fulbright portal by 3 pm MT/5 pm ET).

To notify Karen Barton of your interest in Fulbright, please email karen.barton@unco.edu with your questions.

Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Funding for up to four years of graduate study at Cambridge University

Gilman Scholarship for Study Abroad

Award for students with financial need to study abroad

Goldwater Scholarship

Award for sophomore or junior science, engineering, and math majors planning research careers

James Madison Scholarship

Graduate study award for future high school history, government or social studies teachers

Knowles Teaching Fellows Program

The Knowles Teaching Fellows Program is a five-year program designed to support early career high school math and science teachers through mentoring, coaching, and peer networking. Knowles Fellows also receive financial support in the form of grants to cover the costs of purchasing classroom materials and professional development activities. 

Marshall Scholarship

Funding for two years post-baccalaureate study in the United Kingdom

Mitchell Scholarship

Funding for one year of graduate study in Ireland

National Institutes of Health Graduate Partnership Program

Provides up to five years of funding for Ph.D. students in biomedical disciplines

National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship

Funding for graduate study in the sciences, engineering and math

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Supports graduate study in the sciences, engineering, math and some social sciences

Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship

Funds juniors, seniors and first year graduate students who plan careers the Foreign Service of the U.S. State Department

Portz Interdisciplinary Fellowship

The Portz Fellowship program was launched in 2010 and is supported by the John and Edythe Portz Interdisciplinary Research Fellowship. It is intended to support creative and innovative endeavors that cross boundaries, inviting application from individuals who wish to undertake cross disciplinary research or from a team of two students from different disciplines who propose a single collaborative project. The project will be funded for a period of up to 18 months.

Honors students in good standing from 2-year colleges or 4-year colleges and universities with current Institutional membership in NCHC may apply at any point in their undergraduate studies. In addition to two letters of recommendation from faculty members, an endorsement from the institutional representative named in the NCHC membership is required. Only ONE PROPOSAL per year from each member institution is permitted.

Rhodes Scholarship

Funding for two (sometimes 3) years of graduate study at Oxford University.

UNC may only nomiate one student for the Rhodes Scholarship. Students should begin their application process in their Junior year, and when there are multiple UNC students interested in Rhodes during the same year, an internal competitive process will be run including preliminary application and interview to determine the candidate who will be nominated by UNC. Contact honors@unco.edu if you are interested in pursueing the Rhodes scholarship.

Rotary Scholarship

Various funding opportunities for study and service work abroad

Soros Fellowships for New Americans

Graduate funding for permanent residents, naturalized citizens, or children of naturalized citizens

Truman Scholarship

Graduate scholarship for students planning careers in public service

Udall Scholarship

Undergraduate scholarship for students planning environmental policy careers or Native American undergraduates planning careers in tribal policy/healthcare

Additional Sources of Scholarship Information

National Collegiage Honors Council website includes information about National Scholarships and helpful tips for applying to national scholarships.

Presentation from Scholarships & Fellowships 101 Workshop January 2024