The Robertson Scholars online application supplements the student’s admissions application(s) to Duke and/or UNC-Chapel Hill. All students who wish to be considered for the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program are strongly encouraged to complete our online application. While all students who apply to Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill are automatically considered for merit scholarships, completing the Robertson Scholars online application is the only way to ensure that the student’s materials will be reviewed by our selection committee.
The application deadline of November 15, 2013 for high school applicants to join the Class of 2018 has passed.
- Early October
Robertson online application opens
- November 15
Deadline to submit Robertson online application and letters of recommendation
- January 2
Deadline to apply to Duke
- January 10
Deadline to apply to UNC-Chapel Hill
- February 20
Applicants notified of updated status. Semifinalists invited to interview
- March 1-2
Semifinalist Interviews (via Google Hangout or phone)
Finalists notified and invited to Finalist Weekend
- April 5-8
Robertson Finalist Weekend – hosted at Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill
Robertson Scholarship recipients notified
This Year’s Application
This year’s Robertson Scholars Leadership Program application for high school students contains five required sections, as detailed below.
1. Personal and Demographic Information
2. Two (2) Letters of Recommendation
- At least one recommender should be a teacher who has seen you in a classroom setting
- The second recommender may be anyone who can speak to your leadership and character (teacher, coach, counselor, job/volunteer supervisor, research mentor, etc)
- Recommendations from family members, family friends, and peers are not encouraged
- You will be asked to submit the names and email addresses of your recommenders through the online application system. Your recommender will then receive a request email that contains a link to the online recommender form.
- Recommenders are asked to address specific prompts, which can be found on the Counselors & Recommenders page
3. Academic Information
- Indicate to which university (Duke and/or UNC) you are applying and your intended major
- A history of secondary schools attended
- Self-reported SAT or ACT scores (required)
- Self-reported GPA, class rank, AP/IB scores, advanced coursework (if available)
4. Activities & Accomplishments
- Honors and awards, extracurricular activities, and work experiences
- The essays demonstrate your ability to write clearly, concisely, and effectively. Use this as an opportunity to highlight experiences that are not found elsewhere on your application or resume.
1. List three adjectives that best describe you as a leader. Provide specific examples of how each has helped and hindered your ability to lead. 200 word limit per adjective.
Complete only ONE of the two questions below. Please limit your response to no more than 500 words.
1. Describe a time you found yourself in an uncomfortable or difficult situation. How did you cope with it and what did you learn from it?
2. Tell us about a time you worked with someone with whom you disagreed on a significant matter. How did you manage the situation? If you could do it again, how would you have worked together to be more effective?
Intellectual Curiosity & Innovation
Complete only ONE of the two questions below. Please limit your response to no more than 500 words.
1. We are surrounded by job opportunities and occupations that did not exist a decade ago. Professor Cathy Davidson suggests that 65 percent of students today will end up working in fields that have yet to be invented. What future job that does not currently exist would you love to explore and why?
2. “A picture is worth a thousand words” as the adage goes (though we’re only giving you 500). Submit a picture or photo and tell us how it relates to your intellectual curiosity or innovative spirit.
- Students must apply for undergraduate admission to Duke and/or UNC-Chapel Hill the same year that they apply to the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program.
- Students must apply to the school(s) of their choice by the respective regular decision deadlines. The final deadline to apply to Duke is January 2, 2014, and the final deadline to apply to UNC-Chapel Hill is January 10, 2014.
- Admission to Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill are separate processes. All forms and correspondence dealing with admission to these institutions should go directly to their respective Offices of Undergraduate Admissions.
- Students who are currently studying in the U.K., African Leadership Academy, New Zealand, and Australia should review the International Selection page for eligibility guidelines.
- All international students from regions other than the U.K., Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, and students from these regions who do not meet our partner school requirements are eligible to apply for the Robertson Program and should complete the traditional High School application.
- Students must not have matriculated at any other college or university prior to entry into Duke or UNC-Chapel Hill. Students who have participated in Early College programs are eligible to apply.
- Students must plan to enroll at Duke or UNC-Chapel Hill as full-time students for four years of undergraduate study if awarded the scholarship.
- Students who have applied to the Morehead-Cain Scholarship are not eligible to apply for the Robertson at UNC-Chapel Hill, but they may apply to be considered for the Robertson at Duke.
Frequently Asked Questions
Click a question below to read more.
Do I have to complete my application to Duke or UNC-Chapel Hill BEFORE I submit the Robertson application?
No. You may submit your Robertson application at any time before or after you submit your application to Duke or UNC-Chapel Hill, as long as it is before the Robertson application deadline. Keep in mind, however, that you must complete an application to one or both of the universities to be considered for the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program.
Do I have to apply Early Decision/Early Action to be considered for the Robertson Program?
No, but you must complete your admission application to Duke and/or UNC-Chapel Hill by the respective regular decision deadlines to be considered by the Robertson Scholars Program (UNC: January 10, 2014; Duke: January 2, 2014).
Do I have to apply to both Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill to be considered for the Robertson Program?
No. Students can apply to one or both of the schools and will be considered separately for the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program at each university to which they have applied. For example: a student who applies to both universities may be considered for the Robertson at both, but a student who applies only to UNC-Chapel Hill will only be considered at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Will applying to both Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill increase my chances for selection to the Robertson Program?
We consider applicants based on the university to which they have applied. Students who apply to both Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill will be considered separately for the Robertson Program at each university to which they have applied. Applying to both schools may or may not increase a student’s chance for admission depending on the strength of the applicant pools at each university. We recommend that students apply to the school(s) they feel are the best personal fit for them.
Can I be considered for the Robertson Program at both Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill?
Yes. A student who completes admission applications to both Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill can be considered for the Robertson Program at both schools. However, because the Robertson Program’s selection processes at Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill are independent of one another, a student who applies to both universities will be considered separately by the two Robertson selection committees and may or may not be selected for further consideration as a Robertson candidate based on the applicant pool at each university. Students may be named as Finalists for the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program at both schools.
Can I apply to both the Morehead-Cain Scholarship and the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program at UNC-Chapel Hill?
No, students may only apply either for the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program at UNC-Chapel Hill or the Morehead-Cain Scholarship at UNC- Chapel Hill. However, an applicant to the Morehead-Cain scholarship at UNC-Chapel Hill may still be considered for the Robertson Program at Duke if s/he applies for admission to Duke.
How will I know if I am a candidate for the Robertson Program?
Candidates applying through the traditional high school process will be invited to interview by March 2014.
Do North Carolina residents receive special consideration for the Robertson Program?
No. All students are considered equally regardless of their state or country of residence.
How many people from each high school can apply for the Robertson Program?
There is no limit to the number of students from each high school who can complete the Robertson Program application.
Do I need to submit an official transcript for my Robertson Program application?
No. However, you will need to be able to provide certain details from your transcript in the application (e.g., GPA, SAT/ACT, AP/IB scores). In addition, you must submit an official transcript as part of your university admissions application to Duke and/or UNC.
What standardized tests are required to apply?
The Robertson Scholars online application requires that students self-report either their SAT score OR ACT score. Students may also choose to report both scores. SAT Subject scores are not required, but students may choose to report these scores as well if they choose.
Do I need to send official score reports?
No; self-reported scores are sufficient. Note that you will need to send official score reports as part of your Duke and/or UNC admissions application.