Do students need a nomination to apply?

No. The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program does not require students to be nominated by their school to apply.

The Robertson Partner School Program

Partner Schools are institutions with a strong record of sending their students to top-notch institutions and scholarship programs. Our Partner Schools are eligible to nominate up to two (2) students per year for the Robertson.

However, we WELCOME applications from all students and request that partner schools not discourage students who were not nominated from applying.

If your institution would like to become a Partner School please send an email, alone with your current school profile and main counselor contact to

Transcripts and Test Scores

We do not ask for, nor do we want to receive, official transcripts or test scores from students and counselors. Students self-report their grades, GPA and test scores on our online application. If students are selected for an interview we receive access to their official Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill applications which contain official transcripts and scores.

Can a student who applies Early Decision to another university apply for The Robertson?

Yes. Students who apply to another university under a binding Early Decision agreement are eligible to apply for The Robertson.

We ask that if a student is admitted under a binding Early Decision agreement they inform our office immediately to withdraw their application.

Will The Robertson Accept faxed or mailed letters of recommendation?

No, we only accept letters of recommendation through our online application portal.  

Important Dates

Please refer to the High School Application Timeline.

All materials, including both letters of recommendation must be submitted by midnight on November 15th for an application to be considered.

Do students have to complete a Robertson Application to be awarded the Robertson?


We encourage students to apply directly to our program by the November 15th deadline. It is the only way to ensure that students receive full consideration from our selection committee.

A very small number of students who did not directly apply for The Robertson are referred to us by the admissions offices at Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill, but even those students are required to complete our application before they will be granted an interview.

Letters of Recommendation

For an application to be considered it must contain two (2) letters of recommendation. One recommender should be able to speak directly to the student’s leadership abilities, the second can be from a teacher, coach, counselor, employer or other person that a student chooses. A student CAN use the same letters they used in the Common or Coalition Applications, but we look for letters that directly address leadership, so students should keep that in mind when choosing their referees.

Students should NOT submit letters of recommendation from peers, family members or friends of their family.

Will you share information about why an applicant was unsuccessful?

We do not provide feedback with regards to individual applications or interviews. 

What type of student should we nominate for The Robertson?

There is no 'typical' Robertson Scholar but successful candidates share a number of common traits: Purposeful Leadership, Strength of Character, Intellectual Curiosity and Collaborative Spirit.

You should not nominate a student merely because they want to attend UNC-Chapel Hill or Duke University. 


If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact our Selection Director at or 919-668-1438.