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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 (online July 1, 2020). The extended application deadline is 9 p.m. EST on Sunday, Sept. 6.

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 put the private sector to work for the public good. Please tell us why you would like to be a Kenan Scholar (250-300 words).

Essay IIA & IIB: Please respond to these two essay questions. Be sure to indicate to which prompt you are responding (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? What role can the business community play to address them? (The business community is inclusive of businesses of all types and sizes, industry councils, business schools, and more.)

Essay IIIA: Please provide abstracts or summaries of previous research projects or research-related work. (This can include college coursework, original work as an RA, or a senior high school thesis). Include titles and dates of completion (no word count).

Essay IIIB: List 2-3 topics you would be interested in researching as a Kenan Scholar. Write your response in the form of a well-written statement or question. (Consult this GUIDE to develop your statement/question). Note: if you are accepted into the program, you will not be bound to these topics (no word count).

Essay IV: What are your interests or plans for an internship in the public sector (a nonprofit, policy think tank, or government official or agency)? (about 50 words).

Please include a copy of your resume.

Selection Timeline

Students invited to interview for the Kenan Scholars Program must first be admitted to Kenan-Flagler Business School. Program finalists will be invited to interview with the Kenan Scholars’ selection committee in late October. Final selection decisions and offers will be made by early November.

Selection Criteria

The Kenan Scholars Program seeks candidates with exceptional potential for success who exhibit:

  • Academic excellence
  • Strong interest in research
  • Excellent critical thinking skills
  • Strong leadership potential
  • Superior communication skills
  • Genuine interest in learning and working across the business, academic, policy and/or government sectors

Program Expectations

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

Kenan Scholars are expected to participate fully in all programming, which includes undertaking an internship in the public sector and completing a senior year research project.

All new Kenan Scholars must be present for New Scholar Orientation Weekend on January 15-16, 2021.


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.