First Year Incoming Freshmen 

The Honors College oversees the awarding of three of the university’s most prestigious awards to incoming first year freshmen. We are seeking students who are extremely driven and offer unique and personalized experiences aimed to empower their professional growth, fuel their passion for lifelong learning, and inspire their commitment to a stronger community. Finalists for these scholarships are selected from all applicants who apply to the Honors College by the November 15 priority deadline, with decisions based on, but not limited to completed application, exceptional academic ability, leadership, community involvement, interviews and letters of recommendation.

Applicants should submit their application through the Honors College Portal. You are encouraged to apply early as these scholarship programs are very competitive and meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee an awardApplicants will not need to apply to any individual scholarship program. The Honors College application will grant consideration for each program and depending upon the criteria met, applicants will be placed into a review for one or all scholarships. Additional information and criteria can be found below. 


Additional scholarship opportunities for incoming freshmen, currently enrolled, and transfer student may be available through your respective academic department as well as the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Important Dates & Deadlines

  • August 15, 2023: Honors College application opens. Applicants should begin to review application materials and requirements as well as potential references.
  • November 15, 2023: Priority deadline to apply and submit a final application to the Honors College for consideration of our three (3) scholarship programs.
  • Mid December 2023: All applicants are notified via email and Semi-finalists selected.
  • Late January 2024: All Semi-finalists are notified via email and Finalists are selected.
  • February 16-17, 2024: Finalists are invited to campus for Honors Weekend and Scholarship Interviews.
  • March 8, 2024: All Finalists are notified and recipients selected.
  • April 5, 2024: Deadline for recipients to accept scholarship offer.

Honors Application FAQ's

When should I apply?

  • For consideration of the Cheatham-White Scholarship, Lewis & Elizabeth Dowdy Scholarship, and February One Scholarship, applicants should apply to the Honors Program between August 15 - November 15. Applications will be reviewed following the priority deadline.
  • Submitting your application early will not increase your chances of receiving the scholarship. It is however, strongly encouraged to not wait until the last minute. A number of circumstances should be considered including but not limited to, Eastern Standard Time Zone, recommendation submission, internet glitches, etc.

Will I automatically be considered for Honors Scholarships when I apply to the University?

  • No. All applicants should first apply for Undergraduate Admissions applications to North Carolina A&T State University. Applicants should then apply to the Honors Program by November 15 for scholarship consideration.
  • Applicants do not have to be admitted to the university prior to applying for scholarships, but should at least have an undergraduate admissions application on file with supplemental documents.

Is the Honors application and scholarship applications separate?

  • No. When you apply to the Honors College, you are also applying for our three scholarship programs as well. Priority consideration for scholarships are applied to applications received by November 15. All applications received after this date are considered for the Honors College only.

Can I be considered for all three scholarship programs?

  • Yes. When you submit your application you will be considered for all three programs. Eligibility is based upon meeting individual program criteria. Recipients will only be selected for one program.

Is a nomination required?

Yes. For consideration of these scholarship programs, applicants will need to include a nomination from a high school official or select to self-nominate.

For purposes of this section, a high school official includes guidance counselors, principal, assistant principal, head of school or designee. Applicants should request permission from the high school official prior to including their information on the application. A separate email will be sent to the representative to complete endorsement.

Applicants are encouraged to self-nominate if the student meet one of the following scenarios:

  • The student is home-schooled but believes she or he is highly qualified based on scholarship, leadership, service, and character.
  • The student did not receive a school endorsement, but believes himself or herself to be as competitive as school-endorsed candidates.
  • The student meets the minimum qualifications and shows characteristics of scholarly excellence in leadership and service.

How many students can a high school official nominate?

The number of nominees from each school is determined by the size of the senior class:

Nomination Table
Total Senior Class 
Nominees Permitted
(per Counselor)
199 or less 2
200 - 399 3
400 - 499 4
500 or more 5


How can my high school counselor submit a school endorsed nomination?

Applicants must first register an account through the Honors College Portal. Within the application, applicants will have the option to select the school endorsed option and list the counselor name and email address. Upon initiating the request, the counselor will receive a separate notification to submit their nomination.

Does the school endorsed nomination hold more weight than self-nomination?

No. The school endorsed nomination does not bear more weight, but does give additional insight into a student academically.

Am I required to upload my high school transcript?

  • Yes. You must have an unofficial transcript in PDF format that you will upload into the honors application.
  • Do not have your high school send a transcript on your behalf for the purposes of the honors application. If a transcript has already been sent to the university for other purposes, we still need you to upload a PDF version into the honors application.
  • Obtain a copy of your high school transcript at least two to three weeks before the application deadline.

How should I complete the Honors & Activities section?

  • Don't limit yourself to school-sanctioned organizations if that isn't where you spend all your time. Think carefully about what you would like to highlight.
  • Are you employed? Do you have a time-consuming hobby? Maybe you have significant caregiving responsibilities at home or volunteer your time in ways that don't give you a traditional label of "volunteer". Think carefully about how you spend your time, and then tell us about the meaningful (to you) stuff, no matter where, when, or how it happens.
  • Use acronyms and abbreviations carefully. We can probably figure out what it means if you said you were the VP of a group, but other acronyms and abbreviations can be locally or regionally specific. You might want to spell things out.
  • List the name of the actual group, employer, etc. in the first line of the activity, when applicable. We sometimes see more of a category here instead of the name of the activity (e.g. "Athletics" instead of "Baseball" or "Employment" instead of "Hooper's Store").
  • 10 is an upper limit, not a requirement (not even a suggestion). We do want you to fill this section out to the best of your ability, but we have seen great activities lists with fewer than 10 activities present.
  • There is an option to submit additional information. This space is intended for students to be able to expand on additional involvement they feel warrants an explanation. Do not repeat information already listed.

What information are you looking for in my essay?

  • Be sure to answer the actual question. This may seem like an obvious one, but we receive a lot of thoughtful, well-written responses to questions we have not asked.
  • We have asked for a maximum 400-500 words. While we see successful essays at a variety of lengths, students who reach less than half of the page typically have not engaged with the essay prompt in a way that helps us get to know them.
  • Take time to be impactful, meaningful, and reflect on what makes you unique. Try not to answer what you think we want to here, but what is truly authentic. This can take time to cultivate which is why it’s best to revise your essay’s multiple times.

What format should my essay be in?

  • Your essay will also be uploaded as a PDF.
  • Draft your essay in your program of choice, then save as a PDF. If you are unsure of how to convert the document into a PDF, the search engine of your choice is your friend! Or, contact the Honors College and we'll try to help you out.

Who should I select to write my letter of recommendation?

  • Two letters of recommendation are required. One letter should speak to your academic or leadership ability, and one letter should speak to your character or service involvement. Letters of recommendation will not be accepted from family members or peers.
  • Consider person’s who really know you well and have witnessed what it is your asking them to write the letter for (i.e., leadership, service, etc.). Just because you took their class does not mean that they should write you a letter.

How will my recommender submit their letter on my behalf?

  • Applicants should reach out to person’s they feel can provide a strong letter of recommendation. Once they agree to write your letter you will add their name and email to your application and recommenders will receive a separate notification.
  • Be sure to provide any materials they may need to assist in drafting a thoughtful and detailed letter.

My recommender has not received the email request to submit my recommendation letter via the online application system. What should I do?

  • It’s in your best interest to request your letter 2-3 weeks prior to the priority deadline to allow sufficient time for any technical complications.
  • Recommenders should checked their junk or spam folder as important information can sometimes be sent there indirectly.
  • Check your application to be sure you have typed their correct email address. If everything appears to be correct, please email and include your name, recommender’s name and email address, and describe the issue at hand.