The Application Process

How do I apply for the Park Scholarships?

Be sure to apply for admission to NC State by the November 1 deadline.

To access the Park Scholarships application via the Park Scholarships portal, you must either be endorsed by your high school or you must self-endorse.

Who is eligible to apply for the Park Scholarships?

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

Can I be considered for the Park Scholarships even if I am not endorsed by my high school?

Yes. If you meet the selection criteria but do not attend a high school on the Endorsing Schools List, you may self-endorse. Outstanding home-schooled students may also self-endorse. Finally, if you attend an endorsing high school and are not endorsed, but believe you are at least as competitive a candidate as those endorsed by your school, you may also self-endorse.

What is the deadline for submitting Park Scholarships application materials?

To be considered for the Park Scholarships, you must submit all materials – including both the application for admission to NC State and the Park Scholarships application – by the dates listed here. Late materials are almost never accepted, and then only at the discretion of the program director. NOTE: You need NOT wait to submit your application for admission before beginning the Park Scholarships application.

Are there minimum academic scores, averages, or ranks that students must have in order to apply?

No, there are no minimum ACT, SAT, or grade point averages to apply for the Park Scholarships. However, most successful candidates have an A average and score higher than the average ACT score (29 on a 36 scale) or higher than the average SAT score (1330 on a 1600 scale) of all freshmen currently enrolled at NC State.

Are official ACT or SAT scores required?

For students applying for fall 2021 admission, submitting the ACT or SAT is optional due to the limited testing opportunities caused by COVID-19. In the application process, if you feel your test scores are reflective of your academic ability, you can choose to submit them. If you do not have scores available or choose not to submit them, your application will not be negatively affected.

If you choose to submit your test scores, self-reported test scores may be submitted through the Common Application or Coalition Application for consideration. When submitted to NC State, official scores will need to be sent directly from the testing agencies (ACT code #3164, SAT code #5496).

Is there a citizenship requirement for the Park Scholarships?

You must be a United States citizen, permanent resident of the United States, or graduating from a high school located in the United States (regardless of citizenship status) when you apply.

What do I need to submit as part of the application?

In addition to asking about your most meaningful academic, extracurricular, work, enrichment, and service activities and honors throughout high school, the Park Scholarships application requires two essays. You also must provide the names and email addresses of two recommenders, and follow up with each of them to ensure they submit letters of recommendation by the November 1 deadline.

The Park Scholarships Selection Committee will refer to your high school transcript submitted by your counselor/advisor via the application for admission. (You need not send a separate copy of your transcript directly to the Park Scholarships office.) Likewise, we will refer to your Honors, Activities, personal essay, short-answer essays, and Additional Information from your application for admission.

May I mail my application materials?

No. All Park Scholarships application materials must be submitted online through the wolfPAW system and Park Scholarships portal.

What are the Park Scholarships application essay prompts?

The Park Scholarships application essay prompts change annually. For the 2020-2021 selection cycle (the Class of 2025), the two essay prompts are as follows:

  1. The Park Scholarships selection criteria are scholarship, leadership, service, and character. The Park Scholarship is an investment in the potential of young people. It prepares scholars to make lifelong contributions to communities, states, nations, and the world. Tell us a story that illustrates your potential to make these lifelong contributions. (What have you done that should compel us to invest in you?)
  2. The Park Scholarships selection criteria are scholarship, leadership, service, and character. How do you serve others? Why do you do this service? What impact have you made? How has your service affected you as a leader?

Essay responses are limited to 3,990 characters, including spaces.

What tips do you have for writing essays?

Your essays should delve beneath the surface and reveal insights about your candidacy based on our four selection criteria: scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Essays that go beyond merely describing an experience, person, or project help our Selection Committee learn more about you.

Who should write my letters of recommendation?

The best recommendation letters are from people who know you well and can provide specific examples of how you meet the selection criteria. At least one of your recommenders should be a high school teacher, counselor/advisor, or principal.

Can recommenders submit paper copies of their recommendation forms and letters?

No. Recommenders must use the link in the email they receive from park_scholars@ncsu.edu to submit their recommendation. See the For Recommenders page for details.

What kinds of extracurricular activities increase one’s chances of selection?

There is no specific activity that makes a difference. The most competitive candidates demonstrate a high level of engagement and leadership in a few meaningful activities in their school or community. Too many activities may suggest a student is over-extended or minimally involved in each activity.

What general tips do you have for preparing my application?

Applications provide the initial contact between Selection Committee members and Park Scholarships candidates. Thus, applications should show depth of thought. The strongest applications also include letters of reference that address your strengths as they relate to our selection criteria.

Will the Park Scholarships Selection Committee see the contents of my Common/Coalition Application?

The Park Scholarships Selection Committee will see the following:

  • Your Park Scholarships application
  • Your two Park-specific letters of recommendation

From the NC State admission application, we will also see your:

  • High school transcript, submitted by a counselor/advisor
  • Honors and Activities
  • Personal essay
  • Short-answer essays
  • Additional Information section (optional)
  • Official or self-reported ACT and/or SAT scores (optional for Fall 2021 applicants)

You will not have the option to edit these materials after submission.

If I no longer wish to be considered for the Park Scholarships what must I do?

Should you opt not to continue in the Park Scholarships selection process at any point, please email park_scholars@ncsu.edu with your request to withdraw from consideration.