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.


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:

  • Complete the UNC Charlotte Admission Application by the early action deadline of November 1, 2023
  • ​Complete the Honors College Admission Application by the priority deadline of December 1, 2023
  • Complete the Martin Scholarship application in the NinerScholars Portal February 15, 2024

The following materials are required for the Martin Scholarship application:

Please note that applicants must complete the Honors College Admission application prior to accessing Honors College scholarship applications in the NinerScholars Portal. Materials submitted as part of a complete Honors College Admission application will be imported into the NinerScholars Portal to meet the same material requirements necessary for consideration for most Honors Scholarships. This process is in place to streamline the application process, and to eliminate the need for applicants to submit duplicative application materials multiple times. As a result, you will not be matched with Honors College scholarships in NinerScholars until you complete the Honors College Admission application. Imports will take place five times each day. Please provide ample time for your materials to be imported.

1. List of activities

Please list and briefly describe any honors, awards, accomplishments, leadership positions, paid employment, and significant extracurricular activities (ex. community service, clubs, sports, band, orchestra) you have earned or held during high school. Indicate the organization’s full name rather than the acronym for the organization. Add your activities in order of importance to you, with the first activity being the most important. Be sure to include your name at the top.

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.

Honors and merit scholars programs at UNC Charlotte expect you to be intellectually curious. Tell us in your own words how you have demonstrated intellectual curiosity in your life so far. Use specific examples from your own life experiences to illustrate your perspective on intellectual curiosity and how it has impacted your learning.

Essay 2

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 December 1st.



Action Required

November 1

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

December 1Deadline to complete the Honors College Application (including academic letters of recommendation)
February 15Deadline to submit the Martin Scholarship application in NinerScholars Portal
February 15Deadline for applicants to complete and submit FAFSA

Mid-Late March

Finalists will be notified

Early April

Virtual interviews for finalists


Martin scholarships offers extended