The David M. Rubenstein Scholars Program is a competitive merit scholarship created at Duke to attract and support more first-generation, low-income students financially, academically, personally and professionally. It was named in 2017 after the philanthrophist and Duke alumnus who was the first member of his family to attend college. Rubenstein endowed the scholarship with $20 million. Rubenstein Scholars are admitted Duke undergraduates who are selected for their intellectual excellence, leadership experience and demonstrated community service.
The program is a merit scholarship housed in the Office of University Scholars and Fellows in the Office of Undergraduate Education. The DMRS director also leads the Office of Undergraduate Education's Duke LIFE (Low-Income, First-Generation Engagement) Office.