Selection for the Park Scholarships is a rigorous, three-stage process consisting of application review, regional semifinal interviews, and on-campus final selection activities. Two-thirds of the awards go to NC residents, with the remainder of the awards given to residents of other states. Last year, we received over 1,650 applications for approximately 45 awards.
The first stage of the selection process is a thorough review of the candidate's application. Candidates who do not submit all required materials by November 1 are eliminated from further consideration. Candidates who submit all required materials are assigned to a Regional Selection Committee based on their high school address. Two committee members read and discuss each application and rate it according to the selection criteria. Approximately 15-20% of applicants will advance to the next stage. All applicants are notified of their status in mid-December.
Semifinal interviews comprise the second stage of the selection process. Approximately 250-265 candidates are invited to interview with Regional Selection Committees. All NC candidates have in-person interviews. Typically, out-of-state candidates who reside near Charlotte, NC and Washington, DC are invited to in-person interviews; other out-of-state candidates are interviewed by phone. Two to four committee members interview each candidate for 20-30 minutes. All semifinalists are notified of their status by the end of January.
Final Selection Activities
The third stage of the selection process takes place on NC State's campus in mid-February. NC State's Chancellor hosts a dinner on Friday evening. On Saturday, each candidate participates in two assessments: a group discussion activity and an interview with two to four faculty and alumni. Park Scholars are selected based on their performance in these two activities, which conclude late Saturday afternoon. During finalists' time on campus, they (and, optionally, their parents) attend informational sessions about the Park Scholarships program, their respective colleges, and other aspects of the NC State experience.
All finalists are notified of their status by March 1. We maintain a list of alternate candidates in case awardees decline the Park Scholarship. Alternate candidates are contacted by the end of April.