Martin Scholarship


The Martin Scholars Program is one of UNC Charlotte's leading merit scholarship programs, established in 2016 through the generosity of UNC Charlotte alumni Demond T. (’97) and Twakia "Kia" (’98) Martin. The Martin Scholars Program is housed in the Honors College in order to support high-achieving students with the highest level of financial need and provides the recipients with the following:

  • Ability to pursue academic excellence and personal development without the burden of how to pay for school
  • Award amounts equal to their unmet financial need up to the cost of attendance (total value of scholarship, on average, is $35,000 for a four-year student, including a study abroad stipend)
  • Opportunities for professional development through specialized programing and financial assistance in studying abroad or completing an internship
  • Increased support and advising from Honors College staff and the Martin Faculty Fellow
  • All Martin Scholars are members of an honors program, allowing them to benefit from small classes with dedicated faculty, priority registration, and honors programming


Open to full-time incoming freshmen, transfer students, and continuing students.

  • Pell-eligible with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) up to $3,000
  • Be a member of or intend to join an honors program
  • Preference to students from underrepresented groups
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident
  • Must be a resident of North Carolina
  • Preference given to incoming freshmen and transfer students with:
    • Minimum 3.7 cumulative GPA (unweighted for high school)
    • Minimum 26 ACT
    • Minimum 1150 SAT
  • For continuing students at UNC Charlotte:
    • Minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA

UTOP (University Transition Opportunities Program):

Incoming Martin Scholars are required to attend UTOP during the summer prior to their first semester at UNC Charlotte. UTOP typically starts at the beginning of July and continues through the first week of August. Demond and Kia Martin attended UTOP. The Honors College will cover the participant fee, meal plan, and any additional cost not covered by grants or scholarships.

CLICK HERE to learn more about UTOP.


Apply to the Honors College Application and be sure to check the box indicating that you would like to be considered for nomination to apply to the Martin Scholars Program. Nominees will be notified in early February and provided with information on how to submit their second essay via the NinerScholars Portal.

You will need to have the following materials prepared in order to apply:

1. List of activities

Please list and briefly describe (no more than two sentences each) your significant extracurricular, community service, summer enrichment, research, and employment activities in their order of importance to you. In each description, please include the appropriate grade level(s) for each listing, as well as the approximate time commitment. The list should also include any honors, awards, accomplishments, and leadership positions you have received or held during high school. Please include your full name at the top of your activities list.

2. Two essays

The purpose of these essays is to help us get to know you as a person and understand how you think. You should submit polished writing that demonstrates authenticity, creativity, and analytical reflection. The best essays will give the review committee a clear sense of the unique intellectual and creative contributions you are poised to make to the UNC Charlotte community. 

Essay 1

Please make sure to specifically address the prompt provided in no more than 500 words, or your application will not be considered.

You are applying to an honors and/or merit scholar program. Taking a step back, offer some original reflections on what the word "honor" or "merit" means to you. Discuss what you feel honor or merit commonly means in the world; what honor or merit could (or should) mean; and what actions could be considered honorable or meritorious.

Essay 2 (for selected nominees to submit in NinerScholars Portal)

Nominees will be notified in early February and provided with information on how to submit their second essay via the NinerScholars Portal. The second essay must be uploaded no later than 11:59pm on February 19th to be considered for the Martin Scholars Program.

Please make sure to specifically address the prompt provided in 500-700 words, or your application will not be considered.

Describe a time when you crossed a social, cultural, geographical, intellectual, or other type of actual or perceived boundary. Tell us about that boundary. What challenges did you and/or others experience? What did you and/or others gain?

3. Two academic letters of recommendation

An academic reference is defined as a current or former teacher, or professor, who was your instructor for at least one academic course. Family members, friends, current/former employers or co-workers, leaders of faith-based or community organizations, etc. should not be used as academic references.

We suggest that you select and approach your recommenders now. Teachers have busy schedules and writing detailed letters of recommendation is a time-consuming process. 

Once you have completed the Honors College Application, your recommenders will receive an email with link and must upload their letters by February 1st.



Action Required

January 1

Deadline for applicants to complete and submit FAFSA

February 1

Regular deadline to apply to UNC Charlotte to be considered for the Martin Scholars Program 

February 1

Final deadline to indicate interest in being considered for a Martin nomination through the Honors College Application

Early February

Nominees notified and provided with information on how to submit their second essay via the NinerScholars Portal

February 19

Deadline for nominees to submit second essay

Late February - Early March

Finalists will be notified


Virtual interviews for finalists

Early April

Martin scholarships offers extended