The Robertson Scholars Program will expand funding to cover all non-tuition costs beginning next academic year, program President Tony Brown announced in an e-mail to scholars March 8.
The additional funding, provided by program founders Julian and Josie Robertson, will cover all current and future scholars' room, board and mandatory fees at both Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
"Julian Robertson and I have discussed this idea in the past, and we decided to go forward following the [March 5] announcement by Duke University of a similar plan for the merit scholarship programs under the Office of Undergraduate Scholars and Fellows," Brown wrote in the e-mail.
OUSF recently decided to cover non-tuition costs for students in the Angier B. Duke, Benjamin N. Duke, Reginaldo Howard and University scholarship programs.
Freshman Robertson scholar Meryl Colton said the news of the increased funding came as a surprise, adding that it will improve the program's recruiting.
"It's definitely going to make it lot more of a competitive scholarship and bring a lot more people who are really smart [but] who don't necessarily unfortunately need the money, but it'll be something you can't deny because it's an incredible gift," she said.
Freshman Robertson scholar Joy Lampkin noted that the increased funding is a benefit for recruiting to Duke because of the University's high cost of attendance.
"By upping the funding for the Duke side of the scholarship it will probably attract more people who would otherwise not apply [to the Duke program]," she said.
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