About the

A fully-funded educational experience without peer.

We seek driven, courageous, and inquisitive leaders eager to embrace new and unknown experiences. In return, we provide life-changing opportunities. We offer you the freedom to chart your own course.

We set your potential free.

Are you willing to commit yourself to superior effort, industry, and responsibility? Are you ready to add your mark to the Morehead-Cain legacy? The benefits of making such a commitment are practically limitless.

Who We Are

The First.

The first merit scholarship program established in the United States. Founded at the first public university in the United States. The first to envision and implement a strategic summer enrichment program and, most recently, the first to designate a fund for discovery for each of our scholars. Established in 1945 and inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University, the Morehead-Cain provides an undergraduate experience without peer.

The Framework.

Four years, four summers—fully funded. A world-class education. Immersion in a vibrant student body. Experienced advisors to help introduce the scholars’ passion and potential to a world of opportunity. Exclusive enrichment and networking opportunities—indeed a lifetime connection—with the unparalleled community of Morehead-Cains across the globe.

The Freedom.

Scholars bring the potential; we set it free. We fund. We connect. We encourage. On occasion we question. Sometimes we guide. Frequently we get out of the way. What we don’t do is dictate. The Morehead-Cain is a program proven to develop leaders within a structure that is intentionally nimble. We provide a net, then let scholars go, giving them the trust and freedom to pursue their own interests, mine their own potential, determine their own sphere of influence, and make their own impact.

What We Do

We Identify.

Decades of experience have developed a singular expertise: pinpointing impact amid a sea of promise. The process is rigorous. The result is a small, select community of discernible influence. Morehead-Cain Scholars are driven leaders possessing the rare combination of potential, principle, and purpose. They seek—and receive—far more from their undergraduate experience than academic achievement alone.

We Invest.

More than just money: Confidence. Trust. Networks. Time. Community. Collective wisdom. A proven framework. We leverage the relationships and resources of the Foundation to accelerate the scholars’ experience, providing them more insight, more connections, more engagement, more skill, more understanding, more capacity for impact.

We Inspire.

Accepting the invitation to become a Morehead-Cain means accepting a lifelong challenge: to impact—positively, profoundly, perpetually—the people and pursuits that define your life.