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 stipend to study abroad)
  • 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


Apply via the University’s NinerScholars portal and include a list of activities, two academic letters of recommendation and two thoughtfully considered essays.  See below for important deadlines.

  • 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


The Martin Scholarship application is made available to qualified students through the NinerScholars Portal. To learn more about the scholarship application process, students may visit the University Scholarship Office website. To apply for the Martin Scholars Program, a student must first be accepted to the University, then may use their student ID number to access 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

Given the limited amount of time between being accepted to the University and the Martin application deadline, we are providing the essay prompts here, so you have time to thoughtfully prepare your response.

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.

Innovation often occurs in the space created by the destruction of commonly held beliefs, products or processes. For instance, in the business community, the invention of new products and services can force products once ubiquitous to become obsolete. Similarly, academic research advances by discarding or drastically re-imagining previously held knowledge and theory through systematic investigation, sometimes enabled by new technologies. Name one important innovation or paradigm shift that interests you, explain it, and tell us why it matters to you.

Essay 2 (for applicants named as semi-finalists)

On February 2nd, eligible applicants will be notified of their semi-finalist status via email.  At that time, all semi-finalists will be able to view their application in the Martin Scholars Program Semi-finalist pool in the NinerScholars Portal and will have the ability to upload their second essay. The second essay must be uploaded no later than 11:59pm on February 15th 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 real or imagined boundary. What was the 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, and leaders of a faith-based or community organization 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 applied in the NinerScholars Portal, your recommenders will receive an email and must upload their letters to the Portal by the application deadline of February 1st


Deadline 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 apply for the Martin Scholars Program through the NinerScholars Portal

February 2 Eligible applicants are notified of semi-finalist status and second essay opens in the NinerScholars Portal.
February 15 Deadline for semi-finalists to submit second essay

Late February - Early March

Finalists will be notified

Mid - Late March

Video conference for finalists

Late March

Martin scholarships awarded