What does it take to be a Morehead-Cain Scholar?
For starters, here are the four basic criteria:

  • Leadership

    You influence, energize, and inspire others to work together to make an impact. It’s more than titles held or roles played. For you, leadership is about courage and action. You initiate. You get things done.

  • Moral Force of Character

    Courage, humility, integrity, maturity, perseverance, self‑awareness, generosity, and empathy—these are the core values of the Morehead‑Cain community. You embrace the fact that you are growing and learning, and you are energized by the journey ahead.

  • Scholarship

    You live for opportunities to learn. You thrive in an academically rigorous environment, yet are able to contribute to your community in other ways. You’re ready to take full advantage of UNC’s academic excellence.

  • Physical Vigor

    You have demonstrated a sustained commitment to fitness and wellness. You value what is gained—collaboration, sportsmanship, discipline, stamina, and persistence—by preparing for and engaging in competitions and performances.*

    * Due consideration is given to nominees with physical limitations.

The Morehead‑Cain is conferred solely on the basis of merit. Financial need is not considered in the selection of Morehead‑Cain Scholars. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religion.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Morehead-Cain, you must be:

  • a competitive applicant to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • on track to graduate in the spring

Please note: While candidates for the scholarship are more than welcome to apply to other colleges and universities under Early Action or Regular Decision application plans, candidates are not permitted to apply binding Early Decision to other colleges or universities while under consideration for the Morehead-Cain. If you have questions about what constitutes a binding application, please feel free to contact us.

Entering the Selection Process

These eligibility requirements are the same for all students applying for the Morehead-Cain, but there are five different ways to enter the selection process:

North Carolina

  • Be nominated by your high school (All N.C. high schools are eligible)
  • Apply directly for the scholarship

Canada

Great Britain

Out-of-state or International

  • Be nominated by your high school (only eligible schools can nominate)
  • Be nominated by an eligible affiliate program
  • Apply directly as a self-nominee if you are a resident of North Carolina who attends an out-of-state school

Admissions Referral Program (ARP)

The UNC Admissions Office refers particularly strong Early Action applicants to UNC to the Morehead-Cain selection process. In most cases, referred students attend high schools that are not eligible to nominate on their own.


Please note: Admission to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a separate process from the Morehead-Cain application. All forms and correspondence dealing with admission to Carolina should go directly to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hosts two independent merit scholarship programs: the Morehead-Cain and the Robertson. A student may not be considered for both scholarships at UNC-Chapel Hill at the same time.