The Application Process

How do I apply for the Park Scholarships program?

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 program?

To be eligible for the Park Scholarships program, 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 program 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 program, 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 official ACT or SAT scores required?

The Park Scholarships program will not evaluate ACT or SAT scores as part of our selection process in 2021-2022, and NC State will not require ACT or SAT scores for consideration for fall 2022 entry.

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

No, there is no minimum grade point average to apply for the Park Scholarships program. However, most successful candidates have an A average and an academic profile that is stronger than freshmen currently enrolled at NC State.

Is there a citizenship requirement for the Park Scholarships program?

You are eligible to apply for the Park Scholarships program if you are:

  • a United States citizen,
  • a permanent resident of the United States, OR
  • graduating from a high school located in the United States, regardless of citizenship status

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 2021-2022 selection cycle (the Class of 2026), the two essay prompts are as follows:

  1. The Park Scholarships selection criteria are scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Diversity and inclusion are critical to NC State’s mission and to the Park Scholarships program.
    The Park Scholarships program is an investment in the potential of young people. It prepares scholars to make lifelong contributions to communities, states, nations, and the world. Using one or more examples from your high school years, describe 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. Diversity and inclusion are critical to NC State’s mission and to the Park Scholarships program. Respond to one of the following two prompts: 
    • Using one or more examples from your high school years, describe a setting or settings in which you provided service that improved life for others. What did you do? Why did you do this service? What impact did you make? 
      — OR —
    • Using one or more examples from your high school years, describe a setting or settings in which you have been a leader. How have you led others? Why did you lead in this way? What impact did you make?

Each essay response is 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 parkscholars@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.

What information will the Park Scholarships Selection Committee review as part of my 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 (Common/Coalition 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)

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

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

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