More than 40%  of freshmen
at peer institutions
receive merit scholarships compared to
just 5%  at UNCW.

Goals of the Scholarship Program:

Donor Impact Report




Thousand of student success stories unfold every year at UNCW. By establishing a scholarship, you help students soar to greatness. The university has identified merit scholarships as one of its most profound fundraising priorities. By supporting merit scholarships at UNCW, you position the university to flourish and sustain a growing legacy of excellence.

Scholarship Stories

Jack's story






"These scholarships are a much-appreciated and a welcome contribution to paying for my education and living expenses. I can't tell you how grateful we are for that."

I first enrolled at UNCW after leaving the U.S. Marine Corps in 1984, but never finished my undergraduate degree. Now, a quarter century later, I have returned to finish what I started back then, and to continue on to earn a master’s degree in history.

The History Department faculty is top-notch. I have thoroughly enjoyed interacting and learning from some of the best historians in the state of North Carolina. I have generally found my instructors to be quality professionals who have
the best interests of their students and academia at heart. As a non-traditional student returning to school after an extended absence, I have no safety net of parents or others to help share the burden of funding my educational pursuits. My wife, God bless her, works slavishly to keep our heads above water while I work to earn the necessary academic credentials to achieve my own professional goals.

For students who struggle to attend the university, there is a constant trade-off between trying to maintain academic excellence and punching a clock to pay for that education and living expenses. If we, as citizens, hope to leave the world a better place than the one we grew up in, it is imperative that we provide those who will survive us with the tools they need to find the answers an increasingly complicated world will demand.

Stephanie's Story

“These fellowships give me even more of a reason to put the very best into my
research. Scholarships are a wonderful way to give back to the community, especially if you yourself have gone to college and know how much of a difference it can make in a person's life.”

Aside from the sheer beauty of UNCW's campus, I chose to attend the university because of its location and educational prestige. When most people say they choose Wilmington for the location, they are usually referring to the wonderful
beaches that we have nearby. While that is a positive, I am actually referring to Wilmington's location as a great hot spot in North Carolina for biodiversity.

Being a biology major with a concentration in conservation, I love that UNCW's campus has access to many areas that are home to a diverse amount of species. UNCW also puts education first, and that means a lot to me. The standards of education are always being raised and the faculty and staff at UNCW are among
the best.

These fellowships have meant many different things for me as a student at UNCW. With the help of these scholarships, I do not need to go and look for a second job. I can focus on being a teaching assistant and helping my students learn the best I can while still having time for my own research and classes. Being the recipient of these fellowships also gives me pride in the work that I do. My father was the first
of his Hispanic family to get a college education, and now I will be the first person to get a graduate degree.

Share Your Scholarship Story

Submit your scholarship story to be shared on the website or in other publications. Whether you are a scholarship recipient or a donor to a scholarship, we would love to hear from you!

Contact Us

There are many ways to establish and support scholarships at UNCW.

To find out how, please contact any one of our Development Officers, they will be happy to determine which path is best for you.

UNCW Distinguished Merit Scholarship Program

UNCW’s national reputation for academic excellence inspires the best and brightest students to apply, but they frequently receive substantial scholarships from other universities that far exceed the merit awards UNCW can provide. To compete with the best universities in the nation, the UNCW Distinguished Merit Scholarship Program has been established to assist high-quality, dedicated and creative students.

In Competition for the Best and Brightest Students

These scholarships will rank among the most prestigious the university offers and promise to make the UNCW experience affordable and accessible for superior students from an array of cultural and ethnic backgrounds or financial circumstances. Students receiving these scholarships will be known as UNCW Distinguished Merit Scholars.

Create a Permanent Legacy of Philanthropic Support

Contributions to the UNCW Distinguished Merit Scholarship initiative are an investment in the long-term success of our brightest students and their potential to change the world. We hope you share our commitment to empowering them to soar higher than ever before.

Any gift amount can be applied to the Distinguished Merit Scholarship Fund. However:

More Scholarships and Endowments


UNC Wilmington | 601 S. College Road, Wilmington NC 28403 | 910.962.3000 | About this Site | Copyright Notice | Feedback | Page maintained by:  C. George [ georgec AT uncw DOT edu ]