Frequently Asked Questions

Click on each question for more information!

What are the requirements to be an Oaks Scholar?
  • Maintain good academic standing
  • Participate in all Oaks program requirements
  • Complete the academic year-long project
  • Regularly attend cohort meetings and mentor meetings
  • Correspond with program supporters and donors

What is the cost to students to be in the program?
  • There is no cost to students to be an Oaks Scholar! All program materials, workshops, and travel are paid for by the program!

I am a first (or second or third) year student, but I have more advanced academic standing (eg. a first year student with second year
standing), so may I still apply?
  • Yes! As long as you have at least one full academic year left at NC State, you are eligbile.

What happens to my application after it is submitted?

The review and selection process for applications is as follows:

  • Each student’s application file is reviewed and scored by at least three reviewers. These reviewers may be current Scholars, program alumni, or steering committee members
  • Scores and application feedback is compiled and top-scoring applicants are offered a slot during the selection day.
  • If you are invited to interview, program alumni and campus faculty conduct finalist interviews on a single day during the spring semester. Each finalist is interviewed and individually scored, during multiple rounds, by multiple interviewers. For one interview session, finalists will participate in a mock cohort discussion session. In another, finalists will discuss potential project ideas. The compilation of scores from finalist interviews determines the students who are named the new class of Oaks Scholars.

May I miss all or part of selection day?
  • Yes. While we would prefer that you participate in the full interview day; we understand that schedules might now always accommodate that. Interviews can be arranged for an earlier time. The interview day date is published on the website when the application goes live, so please let us know at your earliest convenience if you have a conflict/potential conflict for that day.¬†Emails for arranging earlier interviews can be directed to Dr. Jackie Bruce ( or Dr. Katie McKee (

May I miss all or part of the Oaks Orientation if selected as an Oaks Scholar?
  • No. The orientation date is published at the time applications are open and students are encouraged to hold both Interview Day and Orientation in their calendars. The program orientation is a key part of setting you up for success for your Oaks year and beyond. All students must attend unless an emergency arises.

What happens if I have class(es) on Fridays?
  • Unfortunately, sometimes schedule conflicts happen. If you are selected to the Scholars program, and have a required course that meets only at the same time as the cohort sessions, you will need to make arrangements with program faculty. It may not be a deal breaker, but each case is determined individually.

May I apply if I am an international student?
  • Absolutely. The Oaks Scholars welcomes students of all backgrounds, nationality, ethnicity, and orientation.

May I apply if I am already in another NC State scholars/fellows program?
  • Yes! We believe (and we have the evidence to support this) that our Oaks Scholars are the best students on campus. Because of that, many are engaged in other Scholars or Fellows programs. We are deeply grateful that we share these talented students with all parts of our campus community. We have worked closely in the past with other scholars/fellows program staff to best coordinate activities and growth opportunities for our students engaged in multiple programs.

May I apply if I am a transfer student?
  • Any student with at least one year of matriculation ahead of them to complete a degree is welcome to apply.

How fast will I know if I am selected?
  • We like to notify students within the week after the selection interviews. 

What is the time commitment for being an Oaks Scholar?
  • Scholars are required to attend two cohort meetings per month on Fridays.
  • Scholars are required to complete an advocacy-based project, which can range in time commitment.
  • Scholars are expected to travel with the program, approximately twice per year. The fall trip is local to North Carolina and requires about five hours of time. The spring trip is located in Washington, DC and requires about three days of time.
  • Scholars are required to attend Presentation Day to present their projects.

What happens at cohort meetings?
  • Scholars complete required readings before cohort meetings about the topic for the meeting.
  • Cohort meetings often have expert guests in the topic area of the meeting.
  • Cohort meetings are collaborative learning experiences and require Scholars to have an open, learning mindset.