Freeman Scholarship


Freeman Scholars are impressive, thoughtful, and persistent in overcoming challenges. They all demonstrate the following characteristics: 

  • Intellectual curiosity and a strong academic foundation

  • Community-mindedness and dedication to service

  • Capacity for reflection, leadership, and growth 


Recipients of this scholarship have access to all the benefits of the Honors College, including specialized honors and merit scholars advising, guest speakers, social activities with other high-achieving students, free printing in Levine Hall, priority registration for classes, and so much more! 


  • Equal to in-state tuition and fees, renewable for three (3) years 

  • Membership in multi-year honors program

  • Receive support from the Honors College

  • Access to honors housing in Levine Hall


  • Open to all majors

  • Demonstrated financial need as determined by the FAFSA and qualify as Pell-eligible 

  • Incoming freshman, full time

  • Minimum unweighted High School GPA of 3.20

  • Minimum 1200 on SAT or 22 on ACT

  • Join and remain a member in good standing of an honors program in the Honors College


The Freeman 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 Freeman Scholarship, a student must first be accepted to the University, then may use their student ID number to access the NinerScholars Portal. Applicants will be automatically sorted by their major for consideration in the Arts + Architecture Honors Program (AAHP), the Business Honors Program (BHP), or the University Honors Program (UHP). Those applicants who are not accepted to AAHP or BHP might then be considered for admission to UHP. Students may be a member in only one of these honors programs.

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. An original essay

Given the limited amount of time between being accepted to the University and the deadline for applying for the Freeman Scholarsip, we are providing the essay prompt here, so you have time to thoughtfully prepare your response.

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.

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

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.

Choose teachers who can speak about your academic achievements, your level of motivation and work ethic in their class, and your potential for continued success in higher education. Selecting someone who can also provide information about your character, personality, and/or leadership skills would be beneficial.

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.


Completing the application for the Freeman Scholarship allows you to skip the application for the Honors College. Applying for the Freeman counts for both, so you do not need to apply separately to the Honors College

January 1     Applicants must submit FAFSA
November 1 Regular deadline to apply to UNC Charlotte to be considered for the Freeman Scholarship
February 1  Deadline for Freeman Scholarship application
March  Freeman Scholarship awarded