Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for higher education grants?

Higher Education grants are limited to the following North Carolina and South Carolina institutions:

  • Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina
  • Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
  • Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina
  • Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, North Carolina

Does the Endowment award scholarships to individuals?

No. We provide scholarship support to the four eligible institutions, which in turn award scholarships to individual students.

When are grant applications due?

Staff in the Higher Education program area works with the four eligible grantees to determine when grant requests may be submitted. Typically the Endowment's Trustees consider new requests from these schools two to three times per year.

Why does the Endowment only give higher education grants to four institutions?

All of our grants benefit organizations in the Carolinas. In the field of education, our founder Mr. Duke chose to direct all grants to private institutions of higher education that were known and respected by him or his business associates.

Is there a process by which other colleges and universities can become eligible for Endowment funding?

No. Our education grants are limited to the four institutions named in 1924 in the Indenture of Trust (pdf). You can learn more in the About us section about how the work we do today is connected to Mr. Duke's life and continues to honor his philanthropic intentions.

Does the Endowment fund primary or secondary education, after-school programs or teacher training programs?

No. While he obviously appreciated the importance of high-quality primary and secondary education, Mr. Duke chose to focus his philanthropy on higher education. As he wrote in his Indenture of Trust, broader grantmaking "probably would be productive of less good by reason of attempting too much."


Have questions about the Endowment’s new Zero to Eight emphasis? Find answers here.