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I am a first year student, but I already have sophomore or junior standing, may I still apply?

This is a common question as many of our applicants come to NC State with advanced standing hours from accelerated programs in high school. We do not consider whether by name you are a ‘freshman’ or other designation . . . as long as you are in your first year at NC State.

What are the requirements to maintain my fellowship?

  • Maintaining a total grade point average of 3.25.
  • Participation in annual class retreats, beginning with the freshman retreat.
  • Enrollment in and successful completion of the Caldwell Leadership seminar in the fall of the sophomore year and participation in a service-learning team in the Raleigh community as part of the class
  • Annual correspondence with your endower.
  • Demonstrated commitment to endeavors of the Caldwell Fellows community through attendance at Caldwell dinner seminars, and support of Caldwell service, leadership, and community initiatives
  • Maintaining high character

Is it necessary to attend a Caldwell Fellowship information session to apply?

Attending an information session is not required. Information sessions are provided for students to have as much in-depth knowledge as possible about the program – its opportunities and expectations.

If I apply early, will it increase my chances?

No. All application reviews will begin at the same time, after the application deadline.

What happens to my application after it is submitted?

The review process for applicants is as follows:

  • Each student’s application file is reviewed and scored by three reviewers, working independently. More than 100 alumni and faculty serve as our reviewers. Staff members oversee the process; they do not serve as reviewers.
  • The compilation of folder review scores and feedback from the group interview session will determine the selection of 90 semifinalists who will be invited to first round interviews.
  • 60 finalists will advance to Selection Day in February.
  • Program alumni and campus faculty conduct finalist interviews on a single day in mid to late February. Each finalist is interviewed and individually scored on our selection criteria by seven interviewers. For one interview session, finalists present a prepared stipend proposal to a panel of reviewers. (Guidelines for preparing the stipend proposal will be provided to finalists when they are notified of their finalist status.).
  • The compilation of scores from finalist interviews determines the final twenty-five students who are named the new class of Caldwell Fellows.

May I miss all or part of Interview Day if selected as a Caldwell Fellow finalist? I have a pre-scheduled activity for that same weekend.

No. The full interview day is required. Interviews cannot be arranged for another time.

May I miss all or part of the freshman retreat if selected as a Caldwell Fellow? I have a pre-scheduled activity for that same weekend.

The Caldwell Fellows receive between 200 to 300 applications on average every year and select 25-26, which is approximately 10% of the applicant pool. The selection committee looks for students who want to maximize the opportunities offered by the program. Aside from the weekly commitment of the sophomores seminar, program events average one a month. We approach with understanding when a Fellow has a compelling reason to miss an event, otherwise it is expected that Caldwell Fellows give high priority to program events. The freshman retreat is a foundational activity that welcomes you into the program and introduces you to your cohort of Caldwells. Missing all or part of the retreat is strongly discouraged and delays your introduction into the program community. Since the point is moot unless you are selected for interviews in February, we wait to discuss such situations until that time.

Must I be on campus the Fall semester of my sophomore year if selected?

Yes, it is an expectation that you will be on campus and you must take the ECD 296H (001) Caldwell Fellows Seminar: Foundations in Self-Development. By on-campus we mean that you must not be studying abroad or involved in a co-op that keeps you away from campus during the semester. Your living arrangements (living on campus or in off-campus housing or with family) are not relevant, just that you be available for the Caldwell class, service learning projects, dinners, retreats and other Caldwell commitments. (This requirement will be held in accordance with relevant COVID-19 protocol, making appropriate accommodations for distance learning when appropriate).

From whom should I request my recommendation?

Your recommender should be a person who can best speak to your character and to your fit for the Caldwell Fellows program. They should be someone with whom you have developed enough of a relationship to allow them to speak knowledgeably about your qualifications. A club or group adviser, high school teacher, community organization leader or a graduate student TA all qualify. A fellow undergraduate student or family member would not be an appropriate choice for a reference. Thus, a person who knows you well is more significant than the lofty title of a person who may know you less well.

May I submit more than one recommendation?

No. Only one recommendation per applicant will be reviewed. Please note: After opening the application please enter the name and email address of your recommender and SAVE your application. This will trigger an email with instructions to be sent directly to the recommender. You are advised to ask for the recommendation as soon as you decide to apply as a courtesy to the recommenders. You can go back to your application to continue working on it later up until submission by January 18, 2022.

Should I submit my high school transcript or other extra materials in my application packet?

Only the requested information will be reviewed. The academic standard for Caldwell Fellow consideration is strictly the common ground of first semester academics at NC State. Thus, the student who may have had a less than stellar high school career or had limited enrichment programs in high school but who has achieved excellence and shown involvement at NC State is just as competitive as the student who performed very well in high school and / or had the advantage of vast high school enrichment experiences.

May I apply if I began my first year last spring instead of the fall semester?

Certainly. You are still considered a first year student.

May I apply if I am an international student?

Absolutely. The Caldwell Fellows are a highly diverse community and we welcome students of all backgrounds, nationality, ethnicity and orientation. A respect for diversity and openness to learning from other points of view is one of the hallmarks of the Caldwell Fellows community.

May I apply if I already have another NC State scholarship?

Caldwell selection is based on a student’s fit to the program ideals and their commitment to participation in the full curriculum of the Caldwell program. Students are discouraged from applying who are already enrolled in one of NC State’s scholarship programs with a full menu of programs as well as funds for tuition and experiential learning support.
A candidate whose tuition is funded from another NC State scholarship source but without program or experiential learning components, is welcome to apply. If selected, these candidates cannot receive tuition funds but are eligible for all other components of the Caldwell program.  Any students with a high level of commitments already set for their undergraduate plan should carefully consider whether they can meet the expectations of the Caldwell Fellowship; our reviewers will be asking these same questions.

Do you have many students who participate in both the Caldwell Fellows program and other leadership development programs at NC State ?

All of our applicants are typically deeply engaged people and are involved in a wide range of campus endeavors.

May I apply if I am a transfer student?

Any student in their first year at NC State, with at least five semesters ahead of them to complete a degree is welcome to apply. 

How many applicants do you receive a year?

Typically, between 200-300.

How many students make it to the interview process?

90 students are selected as semifinalists. 60 advance to our finalist interviews.

How much is the scholarship received with the Caldwell Fellowship?

Currently, the amount is $9,000 annually. These funds are distributed between tuition $6,300 and experiential learning stipends, $2,700.