Presidential Scholarship program continues to grow


High Point University Presidential Scholarship candidates arrive at Millis Convocation Center for the weekend’s opening dinner.

By Rachel Smedley

On the weekend of Feb. 12, High Point University hosted the up-and-coming best and brightest students from across the nation to interview for the honor to be selected as a Presidential Scholar. To be a HPU Presidential Scholar, applicants must display intelligence, character, leadership, and academic potential, undergoing two separate interviews with members of our faculty and current scholars. Current high school seniors seemed excited as they explored the campus, and a tad nervous as they awaited their interviews.

Consistently attracting students of a higher academic caliber with each passing year, the scholarship program has become quite competitive. One interviewee was considering High Point in her top three schools alongside Yale and Brown University. Another potential student and scholar was waiting to hear back from Princeton, but said that after her weekend at HPU, there was no question where she would be headed.

In addition to having potential students and scholars on campus for two different weekends in February, all of the current Presidential Scholars are required to volunteer their time during one of the weekends. They are given the choice to assist with the Friday night dinner, write thank-you notes to those involved in the process, or sit in on the Saturday interviews. But aside from lending their time during these weekends, students consistently work hard in the both the academic and social settings, taking full course loads and joining multiple organizations on campus. As scholars, they are recognized as some of the top leaders on the campus.

Freshman Caroline Weller of Harrisburg, N. C., chose High Point University over Wake Forrest and UNC Chapel Hill. Since arriving on campus in August, she has gotten involved in a variety of clubs and activities. She has taken advantage of opportunities such as becoming a student blogger for the freshman class, joining the Honors Program, CollegeLife, and occasionally writing for the Campus Chronicle. Along with these commitments, scholars also need to maintain a certain GPA depending on the amount of their award; Weller needs to keep a 3.25 every semester.

“The Presidential Scholarship was the deciding factor on whether or not I would be able to attend High Point. I’m so thankful to have been selected for it, so I’m trying to make the most of my college career by taking advantage of all of the educational opportunities that I have been provided,” said Weller.

Senior Lucy Findley, a University Ambassador captain, SGA secretary, Victory Junction philanthropy chair, National Society of Leadership and Success member, and study abroad student at St. Andrews in Scotland, definitely knows what it means to represent the scholarship program. Findley talks about what qualities she believes make up a scholar.

“One of the reasons we bring students down for interviews is that we value more than textbook intelligence and want to know how students communicate their individual message. They must be good communicators, and intelligent responsible leaders,” said Findley.

HPU will be hosting the second weekend of Presidential Scholars interviews Feb. 24-25.

Campus Chronicle
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