Coca-Cola Scholars Program - Some FAQ's

Q: I go to a school that doesn’t rank students; do I have a chance of winning this scholarship?
A: Yes, I have worked with students that come from such schools and they have become finalists.  The Coca-Cola Foundation indicates that if the school system doesn’t rank their students, they will use other academic information to evaluate the student.

Q: Who sponsors the Coca-Cola Scholars Program?
A: The Coca-Cola Bottlers and the Coca-Cola Company use the non-profit Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation to administer this scholarship program.

Q: What does it take to win the Coca-Cola Scholarship?
A: The Coca-Cola website says that you need to have demonstrated leadership, a commitment to community, academic achievement and employment.  What does that translate into on the application?  It means that the winners are very qualified and very involved in their school and community.

Q: Tell me more about the semi-finalists and finalists.
A: The bulk of the students come from public school (between 80 and 90%).

Q: Did they say employment was one of the factors?
A: Yes, but only one factor and no one factor will exclude a student from advancing in this program. The Coca-Cola Foundation recognizes that not every student can work.

Q: The Coca-Cola Scholars application ask for an income range, does that mean need plays a role in the decision making process?
A: No, they are using that information for statistical purposes.  I have worked with students who did not disclose their income who went on to be finalists.

Q: How competitive is the Coca-Cola Scholars Program?
A: In short, very.  Admissions to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Brown range between 6 and 9% of the applicants, however, less than 1% of the applicants for the Coca-Cola Scholars Program make it to the finalist stage.

Q: Tell me more about how competitive the program is.
A: Many students will be rejected who have perfect SAT scores, have taken many AP courses, and have significant leadership roles in their school or community.  That said, you have to apply to be accepted and if you have significant academic and extracurricular activities on your resume, I urge you to apply.

Q: How many semi-finalists are chosen?
A: About 2200

Q: When are the semi-finalists notified?
A: In mid-November

Q: Do semi-finalists win a scholarship too?
A: No
Q: If I don’t get an email or a letter in mid-November does that mean I’m not a semi-finalist?
A: Yes, but you can check the website to be sure, that will indicate a list of the semi-finalists.

Q: Once I’m a semi-finalist what happens then?
A: You need to submit several essays, a transcript and two letters of recommendation to the program review committee.

Q: How many finalists are there?
A: There are 250 finalists and several that are Emory scholars.

Q: Do all finalists get money?
A: Yes, but they must go to Atlanta in late March or early April and participate in the final interview stage.