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Fifty-nine high school seniors from across the United States and around the world were selected as Morehead-Cain Scholars for fall 2015. The oldest and arguably most prestigious merit scholarship program in the United States, the Morehead-Cain – formerly the Morehead Scholarship – fully funds four years of undergraduate study and four summer enrichment experiences.

Thirty-two incoming first-year students accepted invitations in spring 2015 to join the Robertson Scholars Program at Carolina and Duke University, making them the 15th cohort of scholars to join the program since its inception in 2001. Scholars enroll at and graduate from one campus or the other but take classes at both. They spend one semester in residence at the sister university. The program was created by a $24 million gift from Julian and the late Josie Robertson.

Since the U.S. Rhodes Scholar program began in 1904, 49 Carolina students have been selected, including those who won in Canada. With 49, Carolina ranks first among all U.S. public research universities for producing the most Rhodes Scholars for the past 5, 10, and 25 years.

Junior Chiara Pancaldo Salemi won a 2016 Goldwater Scholarship which provides partial education expenses to sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering. UNC-Chapel Hill has produced a total of 45 Goldwater Scholars, including 31 since Fall 2000.

Two students, Larry Han and Matthew Leming, have been awarded Gates Cambridge Scholarships, which provide full support for graduate study at the University of Cambridge in England. Han, 22, from Raleigh plans to graduate in May 2016 with a major in biostatistics from UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and a minor in chemistry. Ultimately he hopes to use statistics to help people improve their health trajectory. A Morehead-Cain Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa member and an Honors Carolina student, Han is completing a senior honors thesis on malaria vaccine efficacy using survival analysis. Han also was a recipient of Carolina’s Phillips Ambassadors Scholarship and a 2015. Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

Matt Leming (left) and Larry Han, recipients of the Gates Cambridge scholarship, are seen on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill February 12, 2016. (photo by Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Matt Leming (left) and Larry Han, recipients of the Gates Cambridge scholarship, are seen on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill February 12, 2016.
(photo by Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Leming, 23, of Asheville, plans to graduate in May with a master’s in computer science as part of a five-year computer science bachelor’s and master’s program. He earned his undergraduate degree and completed minors in mathematics and Russian language and literature at Carolina in 2015. He was a former columnist and cartoonist for The Daily Tar Heel, an associate editor for Carolina Scientific and the lead developer of the CarolinaGO mobile app. A Carolina Covenant Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa member and Honors Carolina alumnus, Leming completed a senior honors thesis on a method of assessing the effectiveness of MRI analysis software. Leming was a recipient of Carolina’s Class of 1938 Fellowship and a 2014 Burch Fellowship as well as a 2014 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

Through a special partnership, the Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program (C-STEP) enables more community college students to transfer to and graduate from Carolina. Talented low- and moderate-income students are guaranteed admission to the University if they enroll at Alamance or Carteret community college or Durham, Fayetteville or Wake technical community college and complete the program. Carolina also guarantees to meet 100 percent of every admitted student’s financial need through grants, scholarships and loans. Since the program began in 2006, the program has served or is serving more than 300 students.

The National College Advising Corps received the National Service Impact Award from the Corporation for National and Community Service. The advising corps, based at UNC-Chapel Hill, provides high school students with advice and encouragement about applying for college. Many well-qualified students are currently discouraged from pursuing higher education by avoidable barriers such as a lack of information about college admissions and financial aid.