Selection Criteria

Park Scholars are selected on the basis of academic merit, exemplary character, exceptional potential for leadership, and the sense of promise that they may one day make contributions of enduring importance to the betterment of the human condition. The goal of the selection process is to identify young people who demonstrate high academic achievement and leadership, as well as those with unusual aptitudes, uncommon talents and special gifts of creativity or entrepreneurial acumen. Financial need is not a consideration.

To be eligible for a Park Scholarship, candidates must be:

  • United States citizens, permanent residents of the United States, or graduating from a high school located in the United States (regardless of citizenship status)
  • applying for fall, first-year admission into a baccalaureate program at NC State.

At every stage of the selection process, the Park Scholarships selection committees evaluate candidates on four criteria: scholarship, leadership, service, and character. The Selection Committee considers demonstrated achievement as well as evidence of future potential. Students selected as Park Scholars exhibit the following behaviors:


  • Desire to master subjects and seek learning experiences outside the classroom;
  • Take courses that are among the most challenging at their school;
  • Perform well academically; and
  • Are curious.


  • Demonstrate initiative to recognize and address school or community needs by assuming formal or informal leadership roles;
  • Listen well and engage with people who have different viewpoints;
  • Influence and support others by setting good examples; and
  • Take risks and champion new, original ideas.


  • Show concern for others by identifying needs and working to meet them; and
  • Find a way to improve life for those around them.


  • Set positive examples for others and have the personal fortitude and integrity to do what is right, even when they are in the minority; and
  • Demonstrate the highest levels of integrity, honesty, and conscientiousness.