Return to Headlines

Courtney Humphrey: Barnhill Scholarship Winner

Courtney Humphrey has worked hard in hopes of gaining admission to the University of North Carolina and its prestigious Kenan-Flagler Business School. Last week, her effort was rewarded. In a six-figure way.

 Female high school senior poses with UNC pennant.The North Lenoir High School senior learned Thursday that she had been chosen to receive the Barnhill Family Assured Admission Scholarship, a four-year, all-expense-paid merit scholarship valued at $100,000. Only a handful of the scholarships are awarded each year to students guaranteed admission to the university’s schools.

The announcement letter to Courtney was clear about the scholarship’s high standards. “This merit-based scholarship was created to attract top North Carolina students of exceptional scholastic aptitude, strength of character and demonstrated leadership potential to both UNC and Kenan-Flagler,” it read.

Getting to the Barnhill winner’s circle wasn’t easy, but the pieces did begin to fall into place for Courtney once she applied to UNC in the fall. After she was accepted for enrollment, she won assured admission to Kenan-Flagler and because of her assured enrollment status she was invited to join Honors College. 

Having expressed an interest in the business school and her intention to major in business and political science, she was invited to apply for the Barnhill scholarship. She applied, about two weeks ago she Zoomed an interview and last week she learned she’d won.

At UNC, she’ll be following in family footsteps, a trail blazed to Chapel Hill by her father, state Rep. Chris Humphrey, and sister Bailey. She’s attended her share of Carolina football and basketball games and spent some time visiting the campus, including a tour of the Kenan-Flagler Business School last spring.

“There’s literally nowhere else I wanted to go,” Courtney said.

“Courtney set her sights on attending UNC from the very beginning and she did all she could to ensure she would get there,” Rachel Hewett, a school counselor at North Lenoir, said. “This scholarship is an added bonus, a very generous added bonus for all of her hard work. She is very deserving of this scholarship and all it offers.”

Courtney will enter UNC with a bundle of college credits, having immersed herself in the AP curriculum at North Lenoir and taking college-level classes through Lenoir Community College since she was a sophomore, focusing on business courses. Still, she doesn’t expect to start classes in the business school until her sophomore year.

But, because of her assured admission, she knows Kenan-Flagler will be there when she’s ready. “Instead of having to apply after your freshman year at Carolina, you are already accepted,” she said. “You don’t have to worry about applying or bulking up your resume your freshman year.”

She’ll leave North Lenoir with a resume that’s already impressive – president of North Lenoir’s DECA chapter, the National Honor Society and SCA and a member of the varsity volleyball and soccer teams. And she’s an entrepreneur as the founder of Court Does Knots, a crocheting business that last year helped earn her a first-place win at the state DECA conference and a trip to compete at DECA’s international conference in Atlanta.