The Reginaldo Howard Memorial Scholarship, named after Duke University’s first African American student body president, is one of a handful of merit scholarships awarded by Duke University. Recipients of this prestigious scholarship are extraordinary individuals who exhibit a commitment to academic achievement, leadership, and community service and social justice. The scholarship pays full tuition, room and board. All scholars must maintain a respectable GPA annually to continue the benefits of the scholarship. This scholarship program specifically targets exemplary students of African descent.
In addition to the financial award, matriculating scholars become members of the Reginaldo Howard Scholars Organization. This organization includes a Faculty Advisor/Program Director, an Advisory Council consisting of the faculty and administration, and student officers. An ongoing agenda of events and activities that keep alive the legacy of Reginaldo Howard keeps the group an active and visible one on campus and in the Durham community.
There is no application required for the Reginaldo Howard Memorial Scholarship. The procedure for selecting award recipients begins with recommendations made by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to the Reginaldo Howard Scholarship Advisory Council in February annually. These selected candidates are considered to be among the top applicants of African descent to Duke University. Over the course of several weeks, Advisory Council members and current scholars evaluate the dossiers of these candidates in hopes of generating a group of fifteen to twenty students for final consideration for the award. From this group of finalists, a limited number of scholarship recipients are chosen. An interview with the finalists during Finalists’ Weekend is conducted to this end.
While there are no minimum test scores or strict requirements for scholarship eligibility, scholars have traditionally been in the top percentiles of their graduating classes, demonstrated a substantial commitment to community service, and in distinct ways, embodied the spirit of leadership, social justice, and community-mindedness associated with the memory of Reginaldo Howard.
In addition to merit, a few of our scholarships also require demonstration of financial need. Please provide the Financial Aid office with all necessary documentation, no later than the first week in March, to optimize consideration for scholarship awards.
Around mid-April, 15 to 20 finalists will visit Duke’s campus for the Office of Undergraduate Scholars and Fellows (OUSF) Finalists’ Weekend. They will be hosted by current Reginaldo Howard Scholars and will have the opportunity to attend classes, enjoy a wide range of cultural activities, and interact with other prospective first year students. They will also meet current students, and Duke faculty and staff. Scholarship winners will be notified within days of this weekend visit. Special care is taken not to discriminate in favor of or against early decision applicants; all applicants are considered during an established evaluative period.
The Reginaldo Howard Scholars Program provides eight semesters of full tuition, room and board at Duke University. Scholars also have access to generous enrichment funding for domestic and international summer experiences, including opportunities for independent research both in the summer and during the academic year.
In addition to monetary support, Reginaldo Howard Scholars will be a part of a cohort of students with a faculty director, a program coordinator, and additional mentoring support from the Office of Undergraduate Scholars and Fellows. All Reggie Scholars will be part of a scholar community committed to the tenets of transformative leadership, intellectual courage, and social justice. During the regular school year, Reggie Scholars will engage with faculty mentors, program coordinators, guest speakers, and have the occasional field trip.
After completion of the first year, Reggie Howard Scholars may apply for up to $5000 to support a variety of educational enrichment activities: from working at a laboratory at Duke University or elsewhere, to pursuing an internship in the private or government sector, to engaging in service work or independent research. With the help of the Reggie faculty director, the graduate assistant, and faculty mentors or advisors, Reggie Scholars will be supported in thinking creatively and planning wisely for these enrichment opportunities.