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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues


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Application Process – Kenan Scholars Program


UNC sophomores are invited to apply. Applicants apply through the UNC Kenan-Flagler Undergraduate Business Program’s online application portal via ConnectCarolina.  Applications open July 1 and close Sept 1.

Application Documents

To be considered for admittance, all applicants must submit the following:

Essay I: The Kenan Scholars program is housed in the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. The mission of the Kenan Institute is to promote innovative, market-based solutions to vital economic issues and to stimulate economic prosperity while improving the lives of people in North Carolina, across the country and around the world. Beyond the many program benefits, please tell us why you would like to be a Kenan Scholar, including your interest in the institute’s mission (250-300 words). 

Essay IIA & IIB: The Kenan Scholars program seeks to develop mission-driven business professionals. Please respond to the two essay questions below (250-300 words for each essay). 

A. What personal or professional achievement related to addressing the public good are you most proud of, and why? 

B. What do you think will be the most important one or two issues facing society in the next 2-5 years and the role private-sector business can play to address them? Please be specific. (The private-sector business community includes businesses of various types and sizes, industry councils, trade associations, business schools, and more.) 

Essay IIIA: Kenan Scholars have the opportunity to explore a pressing economic or societal issue using evidence-based, data-driven research methods. Provide 2-3 questions you would be interested in researching as a Kenan Scholar. (Consult this GUIDE to develop well-written research questions.) Note: if you are accepted into the program, you will not be obligated to conduct research on these topics (no word count). 

Essay IIIB: Without referencing specifics, outline how you might go about conducting research on one of the above questions (250 words). Feel free to consult the Kenan Scholars Program’s Research Competency

Essay IV: Kenan Scholars participate in a cohort-based cross-sector internship during the sophomore summer. Cross-sector internships include internships with non-profit organizations where cross-sector cooperation is emphasized; internships in the for-profit sector or with private industry where there is a clear focus on the public good; or internships with academic or research organizations that undertake work related to the institute’s research areas of capital formation, technology, innovation and strategy, and shared economic prosperity.  

Given these 3 types of cross-sector internships, please order your preference for type of cross-sector internship experience and area or field of business (i.e. economic development, philanthropy, technology, education, sustainability, etc.). In addition, state your commitment to undertaking this internship during your sophomore summer (about 50 words). 

Please include a copy of your resume.


The Kenan Scholars Program seeks candidates with exceptional potential for success

  • You must be a sophomore to apply
  • Applications from junior transfers are considered on a case-by-case basis
  • Majors and minors are eligible
  • Selected scholars must be in residence (not studying abroad) for spring of their sophomore year
  • Applicants may only apply to either Kenan Scholars or GLOBE

Selection Criteria

  • Academic excellence
  • Strong interest in research
  • Strong leadership potential
  • Genuine interest in learning and working across the business, academic, policy and/or government sectors

Application Details

  • Those evaluating applicants for Kenan Scholars will only see: your resume, your UNC grades, and the Kenan Scholars essays (they will not see your “regular” business school admissions essays).
  • Selected finalists for Kenan Scholars will be notified 1-2 days after overall admissions decisions are released.
  • Selected finalists will be invited to participate in an additional interview process (interviews will be conducted October 24-28, 2022).
  • Selected candidates will be notified on November 2, 2022.
  • All new Kenan Scholars must be present for New Scholar Orientation Weekend, January 13-14, 2023.
  • All new Kenan Scholars must enroll in BUSI 120: Exploring the Intersection of Business & Society (1 credit) during spring 2023.

Program Opportunities

Kenan Scholars value working collaboratively across the private and public sectors to advance the public good.

Kenan Scholars are expected to actively and fully participate in all programming, which includes undertaking a cross-sector internship during the sophomore summer and a translational research project in the junior year.


Contact Kim Allen, Ph.D. Kenan Scholars Program Director Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise Kim_Allen@kenan-flagler.unc.edu • 919.843.3317

Apply today!

The Kenan Scholars program provides a world-class, transformative scholarship experience for exceptional students who are committed to learning and working at the intersection of business, academia, policy, government and the nonprofit sector at home or abroad.