The Selection Process

By what criteria are Park Scholarships candidates evaluated?

At every stage of the process, the Selection Committee evaluates all candidates on the following criteria: scholarship, leadership, service, and character.

Is financial need taken into consideration?

No, the Park Scholarship is a merit-based award and financial need is not a selection criterion. Park Scholarships candidates should also apply for need-based aid if they think they may be eligible. For more information, visit Student Services’ Financial Aid website.

When are Park Scholars selected?

We notify Park Scholarships recipients in early March. The new class of Park Scholars is announced in early May.

When will I know about my status?

All applicants will be notified at each stage via email, but they can also check their status on the Park Scholarships decision portal. See the “Important Dates” sidebar for specific notification dates.

How many students apply for the Park Scholarships program each year?

More than 2,200 highly qualified candidates applied for the Park Scholarships program during the 2020-2021 application cycle.

Are Park Scholarships Finalists invited to join the University Honors and Scholars Program?

All Park Scholarships Finalists receive automatic admission to the University Honors and Scholars Program. For information about this program, visit University Honors and Scholars Program.

Can the Park Scholarship be deferred?

Yes; in fact, we encourage students to defer their university studies for one year to travel or work abroad or to engage in some other “gap year” activity. Incoming students may request a deferral in writing.

What are Park Scholarships interviews like?

Interviews usually last 20-30 minutes and are conducted by a panel of 2-4 alumni and faculty Selection Committee members. Students should expect questions related to the selection criteria and their applications. Candidates do not need to study for interviews, but should review their applications beforehand. Interviews also provide candidates an opportunity to ask questions about the Park Scholarships program and NC State.

May I reschedule my Semifinal or Finalist interviews if I have a conflict?

We regret that we cannot reschedule interviews. Hundreds of alumni, faculty, and current Park Scholar volunteers are involved with Semifinal and Finalist interviews; thus, we are unable to arrange alternate dates. We announce interview dates approximately 6-8 months in advance. See the “Important Dates” sidebar for the current selection cycle’s interview dates.