The Kenan Excellence Scholarship program was established at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) in 2005 by the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust and later endowed by the Trust in 2011 with a $6 million grant, the largest one-time private gift in the school’s history. In 2019, an additional $5 million gift was provided to expand support of the scholarship program. The most prestigious scholarship program at UNCSA, the Kenan Excellence Scholarship (KES) provides full tuition, fees, and room and board for up to five incoming students each year and is renewable for all four years of undergraduate education. This scholarship is a merit-based award and for which you cannot apply.
The dean of each of the five arts schools nominates two excellent candidates for the KES each Spring term from among their best new admittees to the university. The KES Selection Committee reviews each nomination, considering criteria that include each student’s ability in the given arts discipline, capacity to lead and motivate, extracurricular achievement, grade point average, and standardized test scores. The committee then interviews the finalists for selection. Awards are made to the students judged to have the best potential as artist-scholars, regardless of the program in which they enroll or their area of residence.
UNCSA has announced the annual recipients of the prestigious William R. Kenan, Jr. Excellence Scholarships, which pay for tuition, fees, room and board for four years of undergraduate study.
Kenan Excellence Scholarships, the Sarah Graham Kenan Scholarship and the Elizabeth Harriet Weaver Memorial Scholarship are UNCSA's most prestigious merit awards for new and returning students.