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Selection Process

Selection for the Park Scholarships is a rigorous, three-stage process consisting of application review, regional semifinal interviews, and on-campus final selection activities. Two-thirds of the awards go to NC residents, with the remaining third of the awards given to residents of other states. In 2013, we received nearly 1,700 applications.

Application Review

The first stage of the selection process is a thorough review of each candidate’s application. All materials are due November 1. The Park Scholarships Regional Selection Committees review applications of candidates based on their high school locations. Committee members read and discuss applications and rate them according to the selection criteria. Applicants are then notified of their status in mid-December.

Semifinal Interviews

Semifinal interviews comprise the second stage of the selection process. Approximately 250-265 candidates are invited to interview with regional selection committees. All NC candidates have in-person interviews. Typically, out-of-state candidates who reside near Charlotte, NC and Washington, DC are invited to in-person interviews; other out-of-state candidates interview by phone. Two to four committee members interview each candidate for 20-30 minutes. All semifinalists are notified of their status by the end of January.

Final Selection Activities

The third stage of the selection process takes place on NC State’s campus in mid-February. NC State’s Chancellor hosts a dinner on Friday evening. On Saturday, each candidate participates in two assessments: a group discussion activity and an interview with two to four faculty and alumni. Park Scholars are selected based on their performance in these two activities, which conclude late Saturday afternoon. During finalists’ time on campus, they (and, optionally, their parents) attend informational sessions about the Park Scholarships program, their respective colleges, and other aspects of the NC State experience.

All finalists are notified of their status by early March. We maintain a list of alternate candidates in case awardees decline the Park Scholarship. Alternate candidates are contacted by the end of April.