The Application Process

How do I apply for the Park Scholarships?

First, be sure to apply for admission to NC State through the Common Application. (To be considered for the Park Scholarships, you must submit your Common App by the October 15 deadline.) NOTE: You need NOT wait to submit your Common App before beginning the Park Scholarships application. To access the Park Scholarships application via NC State’s wolfPAW system, 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 the Park Scholarships, candidates must be United States citizens (permanent residents are not eligible) and be 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 apply for admission via the Common Application by October 15. NOTE: You need NOT wait to submit your Common App before beginning the Park Scholarships application. You must submit all Park Scholarships application materials by November 1. Late materials are almost never accepted, and then only at the discretion of the program director.

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

No, there are no minimum SAT, ACT, or grade point averages to apply for the Park Scholarships. However, most successful candidates have an A average and score higher than the average SAT score (1251 on a 1600 scale) of all freshmen who enrolled at NC State in Fall 2015.

What are the latest test dates for which I should register for the ACT Plus Writing or SAT?

You must take the SAT by October or the ACT by September in order for the scores to arrive by the November 1 Park Scholarships deadline. Official scores must be sent to NC State directly from the testing agencies (SAT code #5496, ACT code #3164).

Is there a citizenship requirement for the Park Scholarships?

Yes, you must be a United States citizen 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 SAT/ACT scores sent to NC State directly from the testing agencies. Likewise, we will refer to your high school transcript submitted by your counselor via the Common Application. (You need not send a separate copy of your transcript directly to the Park Scholarships office.)

May I mail my application materials?

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

What are the Park Scholarships application essay prompts?

The Park Scholarships application essay prompts change annually. For the 2015-2016 selection cycle (for the Class of 2020), the two essay prompts are as follows:

  1. The Park Scholarships selection criteria are scholarship, leadership, service, and character.
    Park Scholars are selected and nurtured with the hope that they will contribute to positive change in our communities, states, nations, and/or world. Describe briefly some positive change you dream of making, and then discuss specific actions you have taken that will help you pursue that dream.
  2. The Park Scholarships selection criteria are scholarship, leadership, service, and character.
    Leadership can be defined in many ways. It is sometimes described in relation to titles. Some might suggest that it is simply “influence.” Tell us about a time where your leadership, with or without a title, helped resolve a challenging situation, and assess your effectiveness as a leader in this situation.

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, 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 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 and be free of errors. 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 Application?

The Park Scholarships Selection Committee will see only: the materials you submitted as part of your Park Scholarships application; your high school transcript, submitted by your counselor through the Common Application; your SAT and/or ACT Plus Writing scores, submitted to NC State directly from the testing agency; and your personal essay from the Common Application (you will not have the option to edit this after submission).

If in the Common Application you shared details you believe are relevant to your Park Scholarships candidacy, please include them in the Additional Information section of your Park Scholarships application.

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 with your request to withdraw from consideration.