More than 40% of freshmen
at peer institutions
receive merit scholarships compared to
just 5% at UNCW.
Goals of the Scholarship Program:
- Recruit the best and brightest students to UNCW
- Support students from admissions to commencement
with a merit scholarship renewable for eight semesters
- Empower students from all walks of life to attend UNCW
- Inspire donors to "adopt" a student or students for four years with a pledge of consistent contributions
- Provide donors with the opportunity to create lasting
tributes to family, friends and mentors through named, endowed scholarships
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.
What better way to understand the power of your gift than by hearing directly from those touched by the generosity of donors like you...
"I believe that doors are an extremely important part in many students' lives. Scholarships can change your life once and for all, even though it sounds cheesy."
When I was six years old, I set foot on a tennis court for the first time and fell in love with a game that eventually landed me at UNCW, which was also my first exposure to the United States of America. I had never been to the USA before I came to college so it was hard to have expectations
- everything was totally new.
Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, my family moved to Israel
when I was 14. I carried my love for tennis with me and played until I participated in mandatory, two-year military service after completing high school. With no time or place to practice, my tennis game suffered, and I had no idea then that my skills with a racket might actually enable me to go to college. As luck would have it, a former Israeli tennis
academy roommate, Illia Ziamtsov, was playing tennis for UNCW at the time and is credited with suggesting me for recruitment. My sister Olga also now plays tennis for the Seahawks.
Scholarships brought me to UNCW, and I am exceptionally grateful. The scholarships I received were a great help. After graduation in May, I began an information technology career in Research Triangle Park with Credit Suisse.
"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
“My experiences here at UNCW may never have been possible if it weren’t for the support of this scholarship, and for that I am extremely grateful.”
I chose UNCW because, after weighing all of my college options, this community made me feel the most welcome. I was in Wilmington for my scholarship interview when I toured the campus, and everyone I interacted with made me realize this was the place I wanted to call home.
I really enjoy the laid-back and
welcoming vibe UNCW possesses.
On this campus, everyone has the freedom to express themselves
however they wish. We are all
unique in our own ways, and UNCW provides a home where everyone can feel like they belong.
Being a recipient of the Dr. L.W. Upperman Scholarship has greatly impacted my UNCW career. It means so much more to me than its monetary value. Because of this generous gift, I have been able to work fewer hours and focus my time on my academics. In addition, I have had the opportunity to be involved in the Student Government Association, last year serving as the Student Body President.
“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
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!
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:
- A recurring annual gift of $7,200 will cover tuition, books and fees for an in-state student
- A fund endowed at $150,000 will provide a Distinguished Merit Scholarship in perpetuity
- A gift of $400,000 will establish a truly prestigious scholarship program to attract students of the highest caliber to UNCW with coverage for the full cost of attendance
More Scholarships and Endowments